Roland Barthes “Rhetoric of the Image” essay from Image – Music – Text, Translated by Stephen Heath. Hill and Wang, 1977. (excerpt)

In the short essay called,“ Rhetoric of the image” Roland Barthes covers a wide range of ideas in just a few paragraphs. Barthes points out the linguistic and reference to France that is in the Panzani advertisement. The text in the image plays an important part in this as well because it shows the language or linguistics. The author also points out the use of signs in the images and how they also play a role in the idea of “italianicity”. The ingredients such as the tomatoes and pepper represent Italian culture and all of the items represent a culinary service, and even further represent a still image. Overall, Barthes explains to the reader how the images use text, objects, and the overall composition to have a deeper meaning.

The idea of using stereotypes or in the context of the essay, “ “italianicity” can be seen in advertisements over the years. Below is a great example. The text in the ad says “ This mothers day’s, get back to the job that matters’ ‘. The image is showing a woman who is supposed to represent a mother, along with her daughter cleaning what appears to be a wall. Lastly, we also see a Mr. Clean logo and mascot on the bottom left. Mr. Clean is a company known for its powerful and reliable cleaning products. The image is relying on a well-known stereotype that mothers, housewives, or women in general typically are at home doing housework such as cleaning.