Deconstruction Hint: Antonyms! 

        If you're having trouble finding a way to deconstruct the binary oppositions in Wheatly's poem, you might want to consider the importance of antonyms to Structuralist interpretations.  Remember, if you see one half of a binary in a poem, the other half is there implicitly, according to both Structuralists and post-Structuralists.  For Structuralists, the missing half is merely absent in fact but present in mind because of how we processes information, identifying things by their differences from things they are not (the antonym of the thing).   For post-Structuralists, the absent binary half could be missing because it's taboo in this situation, or it's the secret but un-nameable force driving the poem's dance with ideology.  However, to expose the ideological forces and to deconstruct the Structuralist reading, you have to pick an accurate antonym of the present/named binary half.  Get a decent hard-cover, college edition or unabridged dictionary whose range of definitions will allow you to find antonyms by reversing the "not-X" definitions.  Or, go to the JRL for a hard-bound thesaurus that lists them after the synonyms. 

        "Aha!," we hear you exclaiming, "some words that seem to be part of binaries don't have clear antonyms!"   (Do you always use so many exclamation points when discovering things?)   Precisely the post-Structuralist issue we were hoping you'd discover.  When alternatives exist and the work does not specify a binary, what could be true?  The author could be aware of the variety of available antonyms but could presume you'd choose only one of a set of alternatives because the ideology controlling choice is powerful enough.  It's the "do you want fries with that?" binary--you only get to answer "yes" or "no."   They never ask "do you want fries, couscous, mashed or au gratin potatoes, udon or cellophane noodles, saffron rice, or grits?"  In a more extreme situation, the author could be unaware and uncaring that the variety of antonymic positions exists.  That's when the author is thoroughly controlled by the ideology.  Some binaries lump some very volatile, strange things together as if they could be considered the same.   Consider this set from the past century:


Mao, Stalin, Putin, Marx,                 Hitler, Truman, Kennedy, Reagan, Gates

collective farm workers                     Microsoft employees

reading Marx                                     running a lemonade stand

Do you see how you might use the binary's fragmented antonyms to deconstruct its highest forms, where it seems least vulnerable?