metaphor, metonymy and myth in visual texts

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A lecture delivered to senior English students at Loyola Senior High School, Mount Druitt, July 2013


  • 1. Metaphor, Metonymy, Myth In visual texts Remy Low Dept of Gender & Cultural Studies, University of Sydney Mount Druitt Visiting Scholars lecture @Loyola Senior High School, 2/5/2013

2. Metaphor Metaphor is a method of transferring meaning through comparison with something else. It works through identification of similarity and difference. Both items must be obviously different but are made similar in some way - placeable within a paradigm together. The effect is to reinforce similarity. Youre a pig! I fell sick War of words Its pissing down Lakoff and Johnson (1980) metaphors are embedded in everyday life Why? It helps us to understand some things by relating them to other things, i.e. transferring the other things connotations. Common in advertising and political discourses 3. Metaphor in advertising 4. Metaphor in advertising 5. Common visual metaphors 6. Metonymy Metonymy is when a part stands for the whole, a larger category. It means that particular connotations are made very strong through use of the sign. Its when a sign or set of signs is so conventionally associated that one can be read as standing for the others. Metonyms can gain cultural force by being repeated across many texts. There's no fixed list of mentonyms. It is up to you to make an argument that certain signs are metonymic because of the ways they appear in visual texts. 7. Common metonyms The White House has just announced... The Crown prosecutor You dick What about the following? 8. Common metonyms 9. Myth Myth in semiotics is a familiar, often-repeated structure of thought. It is a connected chain of concepts about an aspect of the social world. Myths are parts of codes and conceptual maps. As often repeated ideas they can uphold ideologies: i.e. dominant patterns of thinking about the world. Myths of gender Myths of other cultures Myths of youth Myths of childhood Myths of immigration Myths of criminality Myths of success Myths of family 10. What are the myths invoked here? 11. What are the myths invoked here? 12. What are the myths invoked here? 13. Anchorage Anchorage: when visual and verbal/written signs work together to communicate a point (e.g. images in a music video when considered in combination with lyrics of the song). Candy Shop by 50 Cent ft. Olivia: Can you detect the anchorage in this song? What about metaphors and metonyms?


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