For my analysis I choose a picture from blogs.discovermagazine.com of Republican, Rick Santorum (as seen above). At first glance, one sees the American flag behind him, showing not only a love for his country, but also pride. The books set as the background gives the feel that he is knowledgeable and well informed on all that he needs to do. It also gives one the feel of readiness he has done his homework and is ready to take on the issues at hand.

Based on what was read in Barthes’ book, Mythologies, one can see many other aspects of this presidential candidate’s character. For instance, his image is set up in a full-face photograph, which Barthes would say, “underlines the realistic outlook.” With Santorum looking forward in the full-face position, it makes it seem almost as if he has a confidence about him. He has opened up himself for one to look straight at him and see all he stands for, which mean he has a confidence that one will see the man he is and this will help us open up to him. The smile gives him a happy approachable look. His eyes seem almost as if they are slightly narrowed, which Barthes believes means “the slightly narrowed eyes allow a sharp look through, which seems to find its strength in a beautiful inner dream.” This seems almost as if he is saying that through the narrowed eyes, Santorum is seeing the bad and filtering through it to see where the promise of hope can be found. He is holding out for the dream that ends with him making it better. It is this hope that adds to the open friendly feeling one can receive from the smile and narrowed eyes. Barthes then would say after looking at his suit and nicely done hair that Santorum is appearing “as a handsome hero (in uniform) on one side of the handout, and as a mature and virile citizen on the other…” The suit helps give him the professional look to show how serious he is.

Through his demeanor and look he has this feel of professionalism as a man who is ready to get down to business. Yet, the opening smile and way his body leans into the camera also gives one the feel that he cares and knows what others are going through ready to listen to what they have to say. The background sets the mood of pride and preparedness for what is to come, letting the viewer know that Santorum knows where he stands and is ready to take on the issues at hand. This is what one might receive from glancing at this image of Rick Santorum.

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