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Histories Of Myth And The Historical Evolution Of Media

2431 words - 10 pages

How could the relationship between the histories of myth as a medium be integrated with a more general discussion of the historical evolution of media and the roles they play in human history, affairs, interests and experiences? Use concrete examples drawn from the course material as well as such sources and supporting arguments as you feel to be necessary.When we encounter the word Myth, we usually think of stories about Goodness and Heroes in ancient times. Myth has been playing a significant role in human history for a long time. Myth is often considered simply as collections of stories pertaining to the supernatural and ugly elements, which is in oral societies. Actually, myth is more ...view middle of the document...

Language is a message and needs special conditions in order for it to become a myth (Barthes, Pg109). A myth belongs to the general science, coextensive with linguistics, which is semiology (Barthes, Pg111). In any semiology, there exist tri-dimensional patterns which are described as: the signifier, the signified and the sign. When a signifier (image), a signified (concept), and a sign (meaning) build up together as the first system, a second semiological system will emerge. The meaning of the first system also becomes a signifier in the second. Later, the signifier and the signified from the second semiology build up a new sign which is also associative with a new story, and then comes out a form of myth. For example, there is a cell phone advertisement in one Japanese magazine. This advertisement takes place in a baker shop. In this advertisement, a young lady and an old lady are holding cell phones standing far away from each other, and there is a big red heart shape and also a red word "LOVE" appearing between these two ladies. First of all, let us explain the word "cell phone" in a linguistic way. As we know, the words "cell phone" are empty signifiers. It represents Arabic words and its sound does not relate to its meaning. However, when people say that a cell phone's function is for connecting and communicating with other people, it signified a concept to using cell phones. Then the cell phone becomes a sign to people, which has a meaning. However, when people say "cell phone", they can relate its sound to its meaning. Secondly, let us explain how myth works with cell phones in this advertisement. When people see this advertisement, they can usually tell two stories about it. In one system, the cell phone works as a tool for communication. In the another system, the cell phone works as a tool for people who want to share love together even though they are really busy and do not have time to see each other. Then, a cell phone working as a sign which is full of different stories becomes myths. However, language does offer the myth an open-work meaning (Barthes, Pg132).As discussed above, oral myth might be given by open-working meaning. Myth is a language (Barthes, Preface), for instance, and people can transform an object or action into an oral state with its own perspectives, meaning, everyday phenomena and experience (as related through mythic storytelling) will depend on how they are perceived, in what context they are represented, and what the belief system or intent is of the person creating the myth. When people start to tell others about a myth, they usually add personal perspectives, feeling, and emotion to those stories, so in a way, myth will never stop changing from its original. Secondly, myth has often been used as a euphemism to indirectly persuade others. For example, a father may cite a story from a bible to subtly hint his daughter to behave a certain way, instead of directly telling his daughter how he expects her to...

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