Commentary Writinh Essay

1829 words - 8 pages

Text 3, a four frame comic strip by Cathy Guisewite, published in 1986 with the permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK, discusses the challenges faced by women in regards to the society they live in. The text aims to shed light on gender discrimination and make its viewers recognize the role of society in building up both male and female genders. The use of relevant images and emotive language revolve around the audience, purpose and theme, tone, stylistic devices, and the structural conventions of the text. Such attributes combine to form another one of Guisewite's influential and sensational comic strips.
A comic strip often blends serialized texts with a sequence of drawings to display humor, ...view middle of the document...

This has the effect of encouraging the viewer to read more and find out what happens in the storyline. The viewer, whether male or female, immediately questions whether a person with such judgments can exist in our society.
The purpose of this text is to spread awareness about gender discrimination, as the theme of the text is sex stereotyping. According to the illustrator, there's no point in escaping sex discrimination because it is embedded in our thoughts. However, when a sensitive issue is being discussed, the illustrator's views eventually become prominent. Thus, the illustrator also aims to criticize such a social misconception. It makes the viewer review how he/she looked at the social issue before being exposed to this comic strip. The identity of the nurse in the text is society. The illustrator uses the nurse to achieve her aim. She makes sure that the viewer realizes that although the mother wanted to not spill out the gender of her child, the nurse kept on describing the child so she can treat him or her like society does. At this stage, we can tell that the baby is a female, as girls are the most vulnerable in society and are the ones who face baby stereotyping. The nurse bandwagons when describing the child, as she describes a boy by referring to his ''strong fist'', ''mischievous sparkle'' (frame 2) and being ''tough'' (frame 3). On the other hand, when she describes the girl, she offends the mother by just commenting on the baby's ''precious little dimple'' (frame 4). The plain folks technique is shown by the nurse, since to her, all boys have the same traits and all girls have a limited amount of characteristics. This suggests that according to the illustrator, society is very superficial and depends on the physical characteristics of a person, rather than the personality. Through the light and straight-forward technique of humor, the illustrator criticizes the thoughts and prejudgments of the nurse. Furthermore, if it is assumed that the viewer thinks like every other person in society, then the viewer would start reviewing his/her judgments in order to treat everyone free from all sex stereotypes. If the viewer does review his/her opinion towards gender discrimination, then the illustrator's purpose has been achieved, as it becomes evident that she spread awareness and criticized the social misconception.
Throughout the storyline, a critical and humorous tone is present, as the illustrator both touches a sensitive issue and relates it to a comic strip displaying humor. For example, Guisewite simplifies the text to make the text more comprehendible and simpler. It is thus evident that her opinions and views are included explicitly when she writes that society thinks of boys as being tough and strong but girls as being precious and petite. These are interpretations that the illustrator has made of the judgments of society. The intended humorous tone is shown when the nurse copes flimsily with the subject of the dialogue while...

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