"The distinctive qualities of a character's discourse always strive for a certain social significance, a social breadth; such discourses are always potential languages."

"The speaking person in the novel is always, to one degree or another, an ideologue, and his words are always ideologemes. . . It is precisely as ideologemes that discourse becomes the object of representation in the novel, and it is for the same reason novels are never in danger of becoming a mere aimless verbal play. The novel being a dialogized representation of an ideologically freighted discourse. . . is of all verbal genres the least one susceptible to. . . formalistic playing about with words."

--The Dialogic Imagination 332-33

Another factor motivating the understanding of meaning in Bahktinian thought is ideology. Yet the challenge for novelistic prose is to always maintain ideology as the motivating force behind all discourses--otherwise, discourse gets degraded to the status of mere object. When Bahktin mentions that ideological discourses are "always potential languages," he suggests that meaning is colored by the way in which a particular discourse takes some kind of action with or against the larger society's belief system (an alternative definition of ideology is the set of conventional procedures by which a society exchanges signs). Now purportedly, in the novel, ideologies can be unique and multiplied. In any case, as long as discourses (and actions) in fiction are represented in part by being bolstered on some ideological ground, they will carry authentic meaning. Truly heteroglot prose would represent a number of distinct and interacting ideologies. This of course bespeaks the heteroglot novel's position in the social network, but far more provocative questions are raised considering the fact that novels can represent individuated ideologies and should be examined further.

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