The Rhetoric of the Image

The theorist and the philosopher Roland Barthes was our open discussion for our lecture. Barthes express his point of view on how images work. His hypothesis that we cannot separate the connotation of images or it is symbolic meaning, from the rank image. Barthes also said that images have the ability to talk and express their feeling as if they are human or given the human characteristic. Images usually have the ability to be iconic, to tell us when and where they were born in particular circumstances if they are beneficial for our community. Some of the pictures that we see they could be iconic.

 Examples of Iconic Images:


Nick Ut (1972) Accidental Napalm


Paul Strand (1916) Blind

An image could be a very powerful tool they can guide us or even position to a particular way of explaining; images have their own way of talking, they have their own language. Images are “linguistic”. They don’t usually need to be understandable. Images usually get translated depend on how everyone wants to see it or read it. Everyone has a different meaning or view to the same picture. That is how we can explain that images do have a human characteristic, they explain themselves to everyone in a different way.

By the end of our lecture, we have been asked to search for an iconic picture to reflect at it and explain the event. I choose Egypt for my research. My iconic image was the war of 6TH October when all the soldiers came back from the war. This event gets celebrated every year by the Egyptian for their victory winning against Israel. This event means a lot for the Egyptian. The event includes lots of different celebration. Firstly, songs about the soldiers, secondly all day movies continues all the days no break. Lastly, party all day at the 6TH October bridge.

Reference List

Nick Ut’s Iconic Napalm Girl Photo (2012) (Accessed 7 December 2016)

Paul Strand, Blind Woman (2014) (Accessed 7 December 2016)

6th October war (2014)  (Accessed 7 December 2016)

Barthes,R and Heath,S (1977), Images, music, text. 1st Ed. New York: Hill and Wang, Rhetoric of the Images, p153


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