Meaning of the Metaphor

The discussion on symbolism in media communication is a topic that the public is simultaneously aware of and not aware of. What I mean by this is that a lot of symbolism that is being used or displayed is familiar to the American culture. This is true especially of symbols that reflect family values like images of children, infants, homes with white picket fences, and parents playing with or spending time with their children. Religious symbols like the church and patriotic symbols like the flag are also used frequently and are familiar to the American culture. These images that reflect the American way of life are what the professor means by “cultural” symbols or cultural metaphors.While the public can associate with cultural metaphors they see in advertisement and commercials, they may not be consciously aware of them. Thus my statement that the public is both aware and unaware of the messages they see on television or print media. I believe it is important to discern and filter out information that could potentially mislead to a wrong conclusion. The example that was given in class was the phrase “all natural.” Generally speaking the phrase “all natural” is associated with something being healthy, pure, and uncompromised – something we can trust. However, an example of using “all natural” paired with the product of vitamins could be very misleading as the ingredients in vitamins and the product itself is not regulated by the FDA.Another example where “symbolism” could be misused is when there is a lack of understanding of what certain symbols mean in different cultures, customs and countries. For example, white colored garments in certain cultures could represent innocence and are used in weddings, whereas in some cultures it is the color people wear when they are grieving the death of a loved one.It is important to train the eye and the mind to recognize the hidden messages and then to be able to critically think what the overall communication is all about before automatically coming to an assumption or conclusion. Souk Chiang



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