The Purpose of
No matter how credible a representation seems, it
is not just a window onto the world; all
representations are constructed with a particular
purpose in mind.The producer creates a product to
real and reflect certain key pieces of information
that they want the audience to understand.
In every representations, the background and
intention of the author can influence the reading of
the media product. However, the audience will
bring their own background, understanding and
knowledge of the product being read, which can, in
turn, create new understanding.
What is important to be aware of is the attempt by
the producer to ‘position’ you to think and feel a
As representations are constructed from reality, it is impossible to include everything
that reality has to offer. What is left out is referred to as omission and what is left in is the
selection. For instance, if you were representing a school in one shot, it would be
impossible to include the whole school in that image. Choices need to be made and
information to be included needs to be selected.There are certain things that could
assist in immediately identifying it as a school.The information included would depend
on how the author wanted to portray the school.
Similarly, decisions need to be made about what the author is going to leave out of the
representation. As not all information can be included int the one representation, less
important information is often left out to ensure that the representation is more easily
understood. A producer must be careful not to include details, imagery and information
that may add confusion to the representation, rather than assist in it’s construction.
How can we describe these
Basic Life Statistics
Importance in the story
Selection, emphasis and
omission are a useful way of
considering how the
representation of characters has
For the film Blood Diamond we
can compare the representation
of Danny and Solomon. Further
more we can consider them
representatives of their race,
gender, socio-economic groups.
We can develop narrative analysis
further through the application of
The concept of opposition or duality is
fundamental in the organisation of
language, as it is in Western
philosophical thinking as a whole. Such
binaries are a feature of culture not
nature; they are products of signifying
systems and function to structure our
perceptions of the natural and social
world into order and meaning.
This system of duality has been challenged by
those who argue that it creates separation and
does not adequately represent reality. Binary
oppositions are often hierarchal: one term is
often privileged over the other and the devalued
or negative term tends to be defined in relation
to the dominant category.
The binary system and way of categorising the
world also simply condones adversarial or
oppositional ways of thinking in which there are
rigid, mutually exclusive positions and winners
and losers of debates, instead of negotiated
compromises and flexible positions that entail
mutual incorporation of different perspectives.
Narratives are organised around conflict and opposition, which are
fundamental to narrative interest.There has to be some kind of
struggle, some disruption, that sets up conflict.The conflict is most
obviously between individual characters, but this will also indicate
conflict between different value systems.The overall structure of all
narratives can be seen as involving the resolution of conflict
between two opposing forces.
Dialectical Synthesis refers to a discussion or argument between
two competing forces or opposite sides, the resolve within this
comes from the two sides coming together in a form of synthesis.
General Oppositions in theWestern:
Oppositions can be observed
between particular characters,
between different human
different settings or even
colours, and so on.Then these
cohere to provide a central
opposition between two
different value systems.
Analysis f this opposition leads
us to a greater understanding
of what a text is concerned