Sturken&Burkerdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations...

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Rhetorical Foundations COMM 3300 Reading Questions: Visual Rhetoric Directions : Read the articles by Sturken & Cartwright on visual rhetoric (I’m sorry the images don’t reproduce well) and by Barthes on the rhetoric of the image. 1. Sturken and Cartwright: a. Upon what do the meanings of visual images depend? Sturken and Cartwright state that the meaning of an image is created when depending on the interpretation of each individual. “The meanings of each image are multiple; they are created each time it is viewed” [p 25]. There can be no one definite meaning to a certain visual image in that it can be interpreted in many ways depending on the viewer’s context, beliefs, background, etc. They further explain their concept by introducing the tools we use to interpret the images and create meanings with them. “Images are produced according to social and aesthetic conventions”, conventions are learned as we grow up and experience a multitude of events, and as a result when we view an image we do not need to decode it but instead we are able to instantly recognize and understand the meaning immediately [p 25]. However, in some cases, the association between symbols and codes and their meanings are not set in stone and are used in a sense to make a message about fixed codes and their meanings. (Example they give about the napkin ad that depends on the viewers’ knowledge of women in fashion advertisements).
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