A very important kind of syntagmatic relation is the story or narrative, usually defined as a causally connected sequence of events. "She went to the store, bought some food, brought it home, and ate it" is a simple, if uninteresting, narrative. Any culture contains many familiar narratives, oft-told stories, shared by the cultures' members and used to make meaning. "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl," is a common narrative in our culture. So is "hero meets villain, villain thwarts hero, hero struggles, hero defeats villain."
Because so many narratives are familiar to us, advertisements can invoke a particular narrative and all its associations by just showing us a single image that represents of one moment in the narrative, a "snapshot" that invokes the whole story. Consider . . .
[click here to continue]
Previous | Home | Table of Contents