Technology and Mythic Narrative: The Matrix as Technological Hero-Quest Response

This article was about the “technological hero-quest myth contained” within The Matrix (Stroud, 2001, p. 416). The author used Joseph Campbell’s hero-quest myth to show the movie’s appeal to modern audiences. The article suggested that the implications of the film were “empowering to some audience members and potentially dangerous” to others (Stroud, 2001, p. 417).

            This article contributed to communication because it worked to “explicate a modern technological hero-quest that resonates with audiences in contemporary societies” (Stroud, 2001, p. 417). It used The Matrix as an example of how movies can use Campbell’s hero-quest myth to potentially affect an audience.

            I learned how to organize a criticism that uses a theory and applies it to a movie. I wish I had read this article before I wrote my paper because it gave me a lot of ideas for organization. I thought this article was organized very clearly. 

Framing U.S. Coverage of International News: Contrasts in Narratives of KAL and Iran Air Incidents- Response

The authors compared coverage of two international stories to show the “de-emphasizing [of] the agency and the victims and by the choice of graphics and adjectives” in news story frames (Entman, 1991, p. 6).  This article looked at “which dimensions of the KAL and Iran Air coverage” made up the frames.  By doing this it demonstrated the  “thinking of journalists, audiences and political elites” in the frames (Entman, 1991, p. 7).

This article showed ways in which “the nature of a frame in the foreign news text” works (Entman, 1991, p. 7).  It showed how frames “describe attributes of the news itself” (Entman, 1991, p. 7).  This article contributed to communication by showing commonalities between foreign news coverage and suggesting the frames they hold are common in all foreign news coverage.

I learned how to compare two different artifacts from this article. I found this article interesting because it presented the information about the two news articles together throughout the article. I would have separated the information about each artifact if I were writing this article. I learned that it is possible to successfully write an article by comparing and contrasting the artifacts throughout the article. 

Transcending The Virgin/Whore Dichotomy: Telling Mina’s Story in Bram Strocker’s Dracula- Response

This article gave an alternative view to the virgin/whore dichotomy by offering a case study of Bram Stroker’s Dracula. The article suggested that the male characters in Dracula were “defined according to their potential for fulfilling [their] needs” (Wyman & Dionisopoulos, 2000, p. 232).  Therefore the main argument of this article was “woman can begin to refuse these labels” of helpless, worthless, or evil by claiming new labels “based on self-affirming, empowering images of themselves” to avoid the virgin/whore dichotomy (Wyman & Dionisopoulos, 2000, p. 234).

This article suggested that by “looking at female sexuality from an alternate vantage point- one which rejects males models of normalcy and highlights female needs- may provide a provocative contrast to the traditional virgin/whore dichotomy” (Wyman & Dionisopoulos, 2000, p. 210).  This article looked at the needs women and the origin of the dichotomies toward those needs to show female sexuality as a normal human function, rather than something to be ashamed.

I learned a better way to do a movie rhetorical criticism from this article. I wished I had read this before I wrote my paper. This paper was organized by first explaining the dichotomy issue and then using the movie to show the issue in action.  I now have a better understanding of movie rhetorical criticisms to help me write my next paper. 

Scripting a Tragedy: The Isaac and Ishmael Episode of The West Wing- Response

The authors argue that the “Issac and Ishmael” episode of the West Wing aired after 9-11 for the purpose of “introspective thought rather than easy answers” (Jones & Dionisopoulos, 2004, p. 21).  Although negative reactions resulted from the episode, the form of storytelling offered “a unique rhetorical approach to suggesting alternative viewpoints to a large audience” (Jones & Dionisopoulos, 2004, p. 38).  This article suggested that the West Wing episode gave its audience the opportunity to think about the 9-11 tragedy.

This article suggested combining two ideas about communication. The first idea is Hart’s (1997) argument that synthesizers “simply need to modify existing models of rhetoric when examining media products” (as cited in Jones & Dionisopoulos, 2004, p. 23). The second idea is Hart’s (1997) argument that we see the “visual-electronic world” as a new from of verbocentric notions (as cited in Jones & Dionisopoulos, 2004, p. 23). This article contributed to communication by combining these two ideas together to show how “television [can] combine discursive messages strategies with ‘visual grammar’” (Jones & Dionisopoulos, 2004, p. 23).

This article showed me a different type of organization from what I am used to seeing in rhetorical criticisms. I wish I had read this article before I wrote my paper. This article taught me to present an issue or a problem and then use the artifact to show the issue/problem in action.