October 26, 2012

Framing in Public Secrets


Daniel's presents to us an interesting view of the public prison system in the hypertext of Public Secrets. This could be unpacked in my different ways but one thing that really stood out to me was a term we stated in class. I remember we went over the term framing in a rhetorical sense and how it creates meaning. We discussed the literal aspect of framing as well, relating it with the architecture of four walls, and a window, etc which creates a class room.

There are many different variations of framing within this project. We can start with the literal framing of the prison itself which of course would be the maximum security walls, and prison doors. The mental images of something being enclosed can bring on many different correlations including like an animal being enclosed or someone being trapped. This would translate to something being inhumane or not acceptable. Relating inhumane to a human life form for most people would cause them to have sympathy on a situation. Daniel frames a prison system to get is to have sympathy on the prison system victims in order to get us to call to action.

The project itself is also framed in some ways especially with how the lines shift between the prison on the inside and those outside of it. Creating this contrast of freedom and incarceration creates a rhetorical frame where the ideals of freedom and despair are put into a stark contrast.
Using the term secrets creates a mental frame for the reader who then begins to assume something is being hidden behind these prison systems that we aren't supposed to see. This in turn creates curiosity for us to begin to question more about the situation.

SN: Based on our in class discussion on exigence, it is clear the motive behind this is being a witness of the secrets of the prison system. The documentarian text style of writing exposes this. The genre of expose/documentarian is established.

4 comments:

anaistamayo said...

I thought it was very interesting at the beginning how the lines moved up and down, sometimes resembling bars, sometimes not. That definitely contributes to the sense of something hidden, that the reader is being allowed a look inside.

Jen said...

I really like the idea of framing in general, or at least consider it to be an interesting topic. Because I always have to question, is there anything that doesn't have some form of frame around it. And I think you make an interesting and valid point about the title. You're absolutely right in saying that calling it a "secret" immediately affects the way we understand and read the piece. Because we will think of it as insider information or, perhaps something the public should/must know, we feel like we're being involved in something as well as trusted. Which I think has us trust the author almost immediately as well. For some reason whenever we're told about a secret, whether it be true or not, we immediately believe it to be true. Probably only because it's told in confidence. In this case, I'm sure there are at least hundreds more examples to counter or prove anything that Daniel's says but still, calling it a secret provides the audience with that sense of trust between the producer and the audience. Definitely an interesting and good point to make on the title alone.

Bridgette Balderson said...

I didn't even think about the idea of "framing" until I read your post, but it obviously makes sense. You said "Creating this contrast of freedom and incarceration creates a rhetorical frame where the ideals of freedom and despair are put into a stark contrast." I think Daniels creates a rhetorical frame like you mentioned in the opening sequence when she's contrasting the beautifully manicured lawn outside the prison and the inside where no inmate will ever see something so nice. I feel like the lawn she mentions creates one of Bolter and Grusin's "ruptures." How weird it must be to go from the colorful outside into a grey, boring inside and vice versa. It's jarring. If you think about movies who have a main character who gets out of prison in the beginning of the film they always have that scene where they get to collect the belongings they came in with. Then, the newly freed inmate is sent outside, usually into the glaring sun, where they have to readjust and cover their eyes. For an inmate, that'd certainly be rupture from the normalcy they experienced in prison

Kathrynn Ward said...

I was thinking the same thing as bridgette about the outside of the prison. being a framee for the inside prison. However, I thought of it as a frame that does not fit what it encloses. It reminded me of a picture that my sister framed, and I remember arguing with her about how awful the picture was, it was brutal and showed dead people. it obviously symbolized something bad, but the frame that they placed with picture in was beautiful and looked like it should hold a picture of the same connotation.. i wondered why they did that. It made no sense to me.

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