The media is a powerful tool and shapes the way we receive as well as perceive things. According to the textbook “a medium is sometimes defined, as a channel of communication, a way to move signs from one person to another. ” Television and the computer are popular ways of communication. You might have seen diamond commercials from Jared’s Tiffany’s and Zales. Celebrities are a part of popular culture, and when news breaks of a celebrity engagement the attention is directed towards the woman’s ring, which is usually a big diamond ring.
Diamonds often symbolize love, hence the phrase “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” that derived from a song of the same name(radio as a medium). In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes the main character has an affinity for diamonds, and De Beers using the phrase “A Diamond is Forever. ” We as a society accepted this message that women love diamonds, and now we have people buying, wanting diamond engagement rings. Our perspective on diamonds is that they mean love, so purchasing diamonds is the way to prove our love. The commodification in figure 3. is the diamond ring, not everyone has access to diamonds or can own a diamond ring in general. Diamonds have an intrinsic value and can be traded economically and that’s why the diamond business is extremely popular.
Advertisers showcase diamonds as something that is needed, and diamonds tend to symbolize a luxurious life, you see actors, actresses, individual who is a part of the upper class wearing them. In return we see (perceive) owning anything with diamonds in it as a good thing, because the media makes us believe so, and that’s why for some women having a diamond ngagement ring, becomes a desire. If a woman get’s engaged and doesn’t get a diamond ring, she can see it as untypical since the media sold this diamond engagement ring narrative. Using the media-centered criticism point of view it’s clear that the ad in figure 3. 7 if you look at the final words “beauty isn’t worth death” it is saying something entirely different. The meaning of the ad is not to allow “beautiful things” to manipulate you some things may be alluring, but at the end of the day it’s not worth everything.
Moreover, you shouldn’t place value on diamond rings. What is shown in the advertisements is not reality, yes diamond rings are beautiful, but there are people losing limbs for these “beautiful” things. From the Marxist point of view the ad use of pathos is obvious, however from a media-centered criticism perspective logos is plain to see. Both logos and pathos is present, but took having two meanings to actually see that. As touched upon earlier on the amputated hand was used to elicit sympathy from the audience to persuade them not to buy diamond engagement rings.
Ethos is used in the ad, it’s a bit more complex to see, but if you play close attention you’ll see how it was used. The symbol of Africa is essential in noticing ethos, the chopped off hand as well. If the advertisers simply showed an image of diamond ring, and stated “For every hand taken in marriage, another hand is taken away. ” It doesn’t get the point across like having the image of a chopped off hand with the diamond engagement ring on it.
The hand gives it credibility, because it depicts what the enslaved diamond miners endure, thus making the ad trustworthy. The entire ad represents logos, because it’s based on logic “stop putting importance on diamond rings in order to save lives and prevent others from getting their hands chopped off. ” That’s the logical thing to do. Depending on the perspective used things have the ability to have different meanings. For instance, figure 3. 7 can mean something entirely different to someone else than it does to me.
Honestly, and that’s the great thing about having different point of views. Looking at at the image on page 130 from a Marxist point of view | concentrated on the image, and the words to come up with the meaning of the ad. Also, using Aristotle’s model of rhetoric help figuring out the meaning. Firstly, marxist criticism allows me to see things from a social class standpoint, we have the bourgeois buying diamonds rings, while the proletariats are losing limbs in order for them to have access to diamond rings.
The ad simply means stop buying diamond rings, because people are losing their hands from a Marxist point of view. It’s differs from the media-centered criticism, because the second meaning focused on society as a whole, and how it plays a role in the value we put on diamond engagement rings. I didn’t know I had the ability to change my perspective, because when I first looked at the ad in my mind it only had one meaning. It wasn’t much to examine, and it’s straightforward. However, I was surprised that I was able to come with a different meaning.