Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Good Essays

This photograph, taken in 1967 in the heart of the Vietnam War Protests, depicts different ideologies about how problems can be solved. In the picture, which narrowly missed winning the Pulitzer Prize, a teen is seen poking carnations into the barrels of guns held by members of the US National Guard. This moment, captured by photographer Bernie Boston symbolizes the flower power movement. Flower power is a phrase that referred to the hippie notion of “make love not war”, and the idea that love and nonviolence, such as the growing of flowers, was a better way to heal the world than continued focus on capitalism and wars. The photograph can be analyzed through the elements of image as defined by ‘The Little Brown Handbook’ on page 86. There …show more content…

The title, which could act as a form of narration, references the immense power held by this movement. This movement caught media attention and was a monumental part of the counter-culture movement in America. The power of the so called ‘flower children’ during this time was influential in the advancement of the civil rights movement. This title gives more power to the image and gives it more weight as an iconic image by shedding a positive light on the movement.
The arrangement of this photograph is not manipulated which makes its message stronger. Instead, the photograph was captured as the event was happening. This draws attention to the gravity of the impact of these protests. In the article, Preforming Civic Identity: The Iconic Photograph of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, there is an emphasis on the importance of this type of arrangement; the description the arrangement of the iconic Iwo Jima photograph is “there is no hint that anyone is preforming for the camera”. The authors go on the explain that the lack of acting in the photograph “the image can become a performance of war as a national event. By fusing a moment of military action with a sense of visual transparency, the photograph creates a truth effect; this is the image through which the meaning of war can be seen” (Robert Hariman, John Louis Lucaites 372). This concept can also explain the power of the ‘Flower Power’ image, and the message

Get Access