Heroes Essay

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Media and Cultural Contexts Essay Artefact: Heroes (2006-2010), television programme In this essay, the artefact I will be analysing is the television programme Heroes, using a Structuralist prospective. I plan to explore the similar and contrasting dynamics within the artefact. I will look at the show’s premise, it’s uniqueness, the characters, in particular to representation and interaction and how it helps convey both theme and emotion. I will examine the storytelling style and how the plot devices carry it along, cultural references - studying how it relates to the wider world in context. “Structuralism is an intellectual movement which began in France in the 1950s and is first seen in the work of the anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-) and the literary critic, Roland Barthes (1915-1980)” (Barry 2009:38), in which human culture is analysed semiotically, as a system of signs according to the theories of (Ferdinand de Saussure, 1857-1913). Structuralism draws on semiotics, which is the study of language/science of sings. A Structuralist analysis seeks the langue that paroles the utterances or occurrences. I will be using semiotics to analyse Heroes. Bignell says that, “since language is the most fundamental and persuasive medium for human communication, semiotics takes the way that language works as the model...all other sign systems...explaining some of semiotics’ insights into how language works, and expanding this semiotic method…” (Bignell 2002:6) Heroes was an American science-fiction cult television drama that aired on the television network, NBC, from September 2006 to February 2010. It told stories of an ordinary, disparate group of people, from a teenager to thirty-somethings, who discover superhuman abilities and how they took effect in the characters’ lives. As the lives of these heroes are chronicled, as well as the lives of

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