Article published in:Living Metaphors and Metonymies
Edited by Mario Brdar and Rita Brdar-Szabó
[Review of Cognitive Linguistics 20:1] 2022
► pp. 258–289
Rosie the Riveter of the COVID time
A case study on figurative intervisuality
Cyclic repetition can be observed in the use of figurative elements in the conceptualization of the coronavirus crisis, involving visual intertextuality or intervisuality. An example is provided by Rosie the Riveter, an iconic image from WW2, which has become extremely popular in recent times. The image in question has undergone a number of changes over time. Initially it was used as a personification thereby becoming a feminist symbol (essentially a stereotype). Then, it continued as a paragon. More recently it has acquired new meanings and functions by dispensing with almost all paragon and stereotype elements. These changes have been driven or supported by metonymies. Some of these metonymies have had an intrinsic or constitutive role, while other have had an extrinsic or recontextualizing role. The effects of the latter can be appreciated in the light of exemplification theory, which we take here to be a special form of discourse framing that heavily relies on metonymy. The metonymic figurativity analyzed in this article is not purely referential. There is added attitudinal value that primarily arises from establishing social rapport, creating empathy, and mobilizing citizens for action, while criticizing certain behaviors.
Keywords: intervisuality, variation, metonymy, metaphor, stereotype, paragon, exemplification theory, attitudinal use of figures
- 1.1On (cyclic) variation of figurative expressions
Rosie the Riveter: Historical and cultural background
- 2.1War metaphors of the coronavirus time
- 2.2 Enter Rosie the Riveter
- 3.The recontextualization of the image in the feminist movement, and its change to a stereotype
- 4.The generalization of the image: The deconstruction of the stereotype and its mutation into a paragon
- 5.Rosie the Riveter recontextualized in the COVID time: Back to the war metaphor and the personification
- 6.The effects of recontextualizing Rosie the Riveter in the time of the COVID crisis in the light of the exemplification theory
Published online: 24 May 2022
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