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What Does The Medium Is The Metaphor Mean

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Before pinpointing what Postman means in his phrase, we can first clarify what he does not mean. Postman’s phrase, “the medium is the metaphor,” consists of a loaded word that, in the context of his book, necessitates clarification - metaphor. Postman uses the word ‘metaphor’ as opposed to ‘message’ because he believes that media does not truly communicate a message. “A message denotes a specific, concrete statement about the world. But the forms of our media. . . are rather like metaphors, working by unobtrusive but powerful implication to enforce their special definitions of reality” (Postman, 1985). Postman does not mean ‘the medium is the message.’ What Postman does mean in saying, “the medium is the metaphor,” is that the way information…show more content…
One word-to-screen translation that I found particularly frustrating was the Harry Potter series. I blew a gasket when the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton schools were simplified to purely male and purely female students, I had my head in my hands when the Weasley house caught on fire, and the forced chemistry between Harry and Hermione made me want to gag. These elements that are completely irrelevant to the content of the series were added simply for the fact that they are entertaining. Movie audiences love dramatic entrances, destruction scenes, and love triangles. Meanwhile, elements that added depth to the written series, such as Peeves the Poltergeist, Winky the house elf, and Hermione’s advocation of S.P.E.W, were all left out, for they were not deemed important, or entertaining, enough. The part of this that is the most frustrating is the way that the themes of the series are interpreted by movie fans. I cannot tell you how many times I have talked to people that believe Harry Potter is about whether Hermione ends up with Harry or Ron, or that it’s about ‘wands shooting cool colours.’ The metaphor by which the Harry Potter series and other information is identified is defined by the medium through which people view it. Furthermore, the mediums through which individuals view entertainment shape the way they view the
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