As stated by Bennett and McDougall (2013), mythology also regarded as godlore describes a variety or a collection of several myths of a given group of people or primarily the study of such myths. On the other hand, myths are the stories that individuals explain in order to understand nature, customs, and history. Barthes wrote a range of typical mythologies within a monthly journal in the duration that lasted between in 1954 and 1556 (p.
13). Amongst the various contribution of Barthes mythologies were inclusive of the chapters regarding the professional wrestling, red wine, plastics, steak and chips, washing powder and cars. Through Barthes, we can think critically about how culture offers and operates the tools in which to deconstruct them.
The essay primary seeks to underpin what are mythologies and how we should read them as stipulated by Roland Barthes.According to Batur (2012, p.104), Roland Barthes was amongst the earliest structuralists or a poststructuralist theorists as far as culture is concerned. Barthes works pioneered structural ideas and their importance in which in the contemporary society, it has come to help in underpinning the critical theories and the cultural studies.
He served as an early instance of marginalization criticism. Moreover, he was often depicted as an outsider, and he is well known for the articulation of views regarding the critics from the voice of the margins. Barthes is considered as an outside in three ways: In the Catholic culture, he was a Protestant, he was a gay, and consequently, he was an outsider in relation to the French Academic development. However, by the end of his career, he had become very famous and renowned in both France and beyond In reference to Barthes (2014, p.23), his work explicitly addressed his political aspect was the analysis of myths or mythology. The various myths under his study emanated from journalism and the political fields.
His work on myths to a more significant extent prefigured the discourse analysis pertaining media studies. Barthes raises a discussion concerning a typical discourse which is primarily of the right-wing tabloid press and populism. The principal purpose regarding his studies in mythologies was the dissection of the functionality of specific myths. He argues that a myth serves as a semiotic system in the second-order taking a readily constituted sign and thereafter transforming into a signifier. One amongst his example of myths is a cover of a magazine displaying a black soldier who is observed saluting for the French flag. He claims that reading the myth in the magazine calls for the use of what he described as the first-order language. As reinstated by Moriarty (2014) making use of the language in reading the picture, the picture is an image (signifier) which depicts a certain event where a soldier salutes for the flag. However, using the second order of the level of mythology it signifies an aspect which is entirely different: It denotes the idea of France serving as an outstanding multi-ethnic empire, the association of the militariness and Frenchness (p.
81). He also articulates that a myth should be observed as a metalanguage. This meant that a myth turns the language into a means of speaking about itself. Although, this is achieved in quite a repressive way, through the concealing sign construction (Hutcheon & Hutcheon, 1987, p.412). The myth system tends to reduce the raw materials signifying the similarities of the objects. For example, it utilizes a book and a photograph precisely just in the same way. According to Barthes (1987, p.
52), while reading myths, they should be taken into account or observed differently from other types of signifiers. The primary fact is that they are ever none-arbitrary. They usually possess some type of analogy motivating them to a greater extent. Contrary to the ideology concerning false consciousness, myths do not hide anything. Rather, they distort or reflect specific signs or images to designate a particular meaning. Myths distort things and do not hide them.
They entirely alienate the history of the signs.Barthes (1977, p.102) ascertains that the primary objection is that myths eliminates history from the language. It influences specific signs to appear, frozen, eternal, natural or absolute. As a consequence, it leads to the transformation of history in nature.
Its primary function is for arresting or freezing language. It often incorporates this through minimising the complexity of a phenomenon to limited characteristics which are accounted to being definitive. To effectively explain this assumption, he utilizes a typical example of the Basque Chalet in Paris. He acknowledges that this ostentatiously depicts specific signs regarding something taken into account as Basque style with an exemption of other Basque houses aspects as they are found within the nation (it constitutes of a sloping roof, but it is not a barn).Referring to Hutcheon and Hutcheon (1987, p.432), it is of adamant importance to understand that Barthes does not provide an assumption that all the languages make use of the myths. He perceives myths to be unnecessary. He also has a partial social constructivism.
He believes that there are some things having particular attributes which are far much away from their constructions mythically. Through a denotative language, they perhaps become accessible. However, he reinstates that a semiotician would only be able to research on the myths or signs but not the aspects.
According to Barthes, he can be able to narrate the use of the myth regarding the usefulness of wine or the way in which wine is taken into account as an essence in which in real sense it lacks it. In fact, for contingent purposes, wine may be useful in regard to the sense of experience. However, it is quite difficult for a semiotician to tell us concerning this.Therefore, in a sense, this serves as a negative approach as far as the myths are concerned: instead of making replacements, it breaks down. An individual may have speculation which eventually, there would be the need for the reconstruction of language not in a mythical way, in one order to moving to the myth and beyond through directly talking based on the experiences situated instead of the essences. On the other hand, Bennett and McDougall (2013, p.36), argue that this is external to the scope of the projects of Barthes.
Ideally, myths eliminate all the roles for the readers during meaning construction. Barthes ascertains that the myth are received instead of being read. A message which is primarily received instead of being read, it does not need any kind of interpretation through code. It primarily calls for a particular cultural language. An individual may have an assumption which also requires a specific form of life that corresponds to the language resonance of this language.Barthes (1978), notes that the myth consumer should at this juncture get differentiated from the other who ideally reads the myths. In reference to the semioticians such as Barthes, a myth is perceived to be an “alibi,” the means of covering up the deficit of ground which essentially it ideally possesses.
To a myth producer, such as editors of newspapers selecting a cover photo, they are primarily symbols or examples, chosen consciously. In all the occasions, there is no “reception” of the myth as such. All the semiotician and the journalist comprehends clearly that there is construction of the myth (p.16).O’Sullivan (2014, p.
77) states that based on Barthes, an individual consuming a myth, for instance, the well-known tabloid readers, do not perceive its mythical construction. They recognize the image as being the availability of the signifier essence. For example, they perceive the solder is saluting the flag as the presence of the French imperialism. They there after get convinced that they have observed reality, a fact or an experience which they indeed did not leave on it. It is this type of readers that read the function of the myth ideologically.Barthes warns that the myths should not be read as statements of specific actors, but rather they should be as the natural outgrowths. They are observed as underpinning a natural reason instead of a motivated statement or explanation.
They should be read as “innocent speech” from where the signification and ideology are absent. The consumption of a myth is not the consumption of the signs but the meaning, goals, and images (Moriarty, 2014, p.98). The connotative signified myth is hidden because it cannot be reconstructed through the image or the language employed in carrying it.
The utterance is well structured to pose some effect on the reader, although this reception does not constitute the reading. As outlined by Barthes (1977) in reference to the reading of the myth, myths may only get displayed if an individual is entirely a profound believer consuming the myth innocently. This is the reason as to why for the particular subsequent writers, a postmodern ironic reading which plays as well as recognizes the myth constructedness which is deemed subversive. It is also the reason for the ironic utilization of the stereotypes which are occasionally differentiated from their deployment which is seemingly very simple (p.313). And the reason as to why the playing of signs in areas such as the internet, or the response models of the readers regarding international culture, in which every user knows they are redeploying and appropriating signs. It is occasionally observed as consistent despite the deployed signs being conventional, capitalist, and racist among others. According to Barthes, myths functions just in the same way as the Althusserian interpellation.
It calls out for an individual receiving it such as a statement of a fact or a command. The injunction content is to capacitate the identification with the essence. To a larger extent, the signs regarding the myths seem to have been established on the spot as far as the viewer is concerned (Batur, 2012, p.117). They appear to basically undertake a performance as being their role in the myth. The history creating or causing them is rendered invisible.
Barthes (1978) articulates that a myth is parasitical language. It calls for the definition of the original sign concerning its power, however, in a similar notion, it denies this kind of specification making it appear natural and indisputable instead of being contingent. There is often a remainder regarding denotation of which its absence there would be no existence of the connotation. It is only as a result of this denotation remnant that the connotation naturalizing everything. It is as if it requires the denotation innocence in posing as innocent as it is.
This means that it is basically torn between culture and nature, connotation and denotation (p.13).It also possesses a tendency of employing language.
It primarily eliminates the signs from their contexts and hides the process concerning the attachment of the signifier to be signified. It, therefore, strips the signs of their specificity and richness. Barthes (1987, p.
69) notes that the role of the myth is to empty the appearance-reality of social construction and history. The original signs are rich historically, therefore, the myth functions through the deprivation of its history as well as turning it into an empty formation in carrying a distinct meaning Knepel (2016) outlines that if the polity aspect is taken into account to constitute the entire individual relations within their ideal structure as the power in the transformation of the world, then there is depoliticization of the speech of the myth. The utilization is portrayed mistakenly as being natural. This historical dereliction strips, should depict the contextual phenomena. What is in reality a contextually particular action is considered denote something different: eternal or timeless essence.
This is known as the myth concept (p.34). Barthes provides a detailed expresses it through the ordinary words by adding -ness or -ity thus emptying it also a type of filling.
The concept undertaken by a myth looks to be absolute and eternal. In fact, the concept which is carried by a myth implants into the sign a whole perspective and history. For example, it relates back to a specific stereotype embedded in the racial, gender or the hierarchical classes.
Due to the myths, individuals are plunged constantly into a falsification nature which ideally a constructed system. The semiotic analysis of a myth is political act developing the freedom of language from the system presently as well as unveiling the social realities constructedness. The historical, contingent in conjunction with the socially constructed system of the capitalist comes to appear as life, the world, the way it is. According to Barthes, amongst the ways of becoming aware of myths is by putting into consideration how they would tend to be, mainly from the standpoint of what they depict (Yacavone, 2009, p.8).. Usually, a myth is apparent when viewed from its signifier standpoint that has been robbed.
For example, the mythical nature of the utilization of the image of the black solder apparently it is the actual narrative of the soldier is put into consideration or known. Finally, Barthes (2014, p.67-69), provides a list of common figures or techniques regarding myths: Inoculation, removal of history, tautology, quantification of quality, statement of fact without explanation, neither-norism and the identification of the other with self. He ascertains this to be amongst the characteristics that almost all the myths are constituted off.
In summary, a myth refers to any traditional narrative often involving an imaginary or supernatural person and embodying famous ideas on social or natural phenomena among other aspects. Barthes looks at the semiology of the process in the creation of myths in which he uses signs elevated to the mythical level. He also provides the guidelines how to read mythology and the functions as addressed in the paper.