Intertextuality Blog Post 2

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Warnick and Heinemen are discussing rhetorical analysis of intertextuality. They describe intertextuality "as a genre that is compromised of cultural matrix of the readers' experience and general knowledge of salient current events supporting the intertexual reference." This means that intertextuality is how authors and creators have involved their audiences in persuasion by referring to things the audiences may know at that time through their personal interests, knowledge, and what is current in their culture. They justify this through four different themes archetypal allegory, cross-referencing, parody, and satire. They had a great example of intertextuality when describing a cross-reference, or a reference to a specific film, novel, or other work. They cross-reference involved a 1984 Super Bowl Macintosh commercial that eluded to 1984 novel by George Orwell, IBM, and a few other late films. This advertisement is rhetorical because the advertisement's message has a persuasive aspect when the referred content is understood to those who are familiar with it. Warnick and Heinemen mention that readers have a sense of accomplishment when they understand or pick up on references. Rhetoric is seen at its best here, because when a reader connects with the creator's reference they feel a sense of superiority, and what better to persuade a reader than to make them feel powerful about their knowledge, even exclusive at times. What is interesting with this though is that Warnick and Heinemen describe intertextual content as not always black and white, with a clearly defined message to one audience. It can be interpreted in many ways, depending on how people connect with the information. Their example of JibJab's "Big Box Mart" about Walmart is a good illustration of this. It alerts readers to a social problem that some may already recognize and others may not, some really understanding the take-away message, and others just finding it entertaining. I think the authors did a great job to demonstrate the web as information from referenced information to create this rhetorical exchange of ideas.

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After reading about the famous 1984 Super Bowl television advertisement for the Apple Macintosh computer, I went on YouTube to watch it myself and observed the intertextual references Warnick and Heinemen were discussing in the text. It is interesting to me that there can be so many cross-references made in a single commercial advertisement. Not only is George Orwell’s novel 1984 alluded to, but also several other specific references were indicative to the ad. Sarah R. Stein explained how the marching men in the beginning of the commercial were comparable to the 1927 film Metropolis, or how the throwing the sledgehammer and the destruction of the man on the screen resembled the confrontation between David and Goliath. These various interpretations observed from two separate audiences illustrate how the message can be perceived differently from one viewer to another. Although I was not initially familiar with the references that were made in this piece of work, it is fascinating to witness how viewers are able to interpret and connect to the intertextuality present in this unique advertisement.

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This page contains a single entry by ansa0053 published on March 6, 2013 10:16 PM.

Rhetoric Online was the previous entry in this blog.

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