In visual texts
Dept of Gender & Cultural
Studies, University of Sydney
Mount Druitt Visiting Scholars
lecture @Loyola Senior High
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.
“You‟re a pig!”
“I fell sick”
“War of words”
“It‟s 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 thing‟s connotations. Common in advertising and
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.
It‟s 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.
“The White House has just announced...”
The Crown prosecutor
What about the following?
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
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?