Imagery in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

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The techniques used in Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion and the film, Man with a Movie Camera both include imagery in numerous ways. Imagery can be very effective because it allows the reader or audience to create a scene in their own perception of what is happening in the film or writing. Didion and the film, Man with a Movie Camera, use imagery to help the reader envision a scene or short story from their point of view. For Didion, she uses it to help the reader envision California’s landscape and the film utilizes it by inviting the viewer to see the city through the eyes of the cameraman by sharing the events encountered along the way of the filmmaking process. Therefore, Joan Didion uses imagery in Slouching Toward Bethlehem by using detailed imagery, sight, and sound to help the reader envision her story more clearly.

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Man With a Movie Camera is a movie about a person capturing life in the day of the lives of humans from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Moscow, and Odesa. It begins with humans waking up, and getting their days commenced. It also suggests what the city looks as if whilst the human beings sleep, its vacancy. We see the machines in factories now not shifting. Then, we see how humans are those who affect progress even though the machine creates the result. Vertov indicates to us the dizzying pace of lifestyles as it has quickened with road vehicles, machines, and people all attempting to get from where they are to where they’re going. The director also reveals to the target market how a digital camera is utilized in imagery at some stage in the film. The effects imagery makes in the film is to manipulate the audience to see from his point of view and what he is trying to get across with different shots used in the film. For example, we see numerous shots of mannequins within the film. This imagery suggests to us the separation between reality and what is fake inside the beginning of the movie and that there’s a difference between what appears human to what virtually is.

In Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Didion uses a very personal narrative style by using the first-person point of view, her own thoughts, opinions, and emotions throughout her journal writings. Didion also utilized imagery as a way to give her readers a clear visual by being detailed and using sight and sound as her main examples of imagery. An example of Didion being detailed is In ‘John Wayne: A Love Song,’ Didion recounts the ways wherein the mythical Western film actor motivated her conceptions of affection and masculinity. She recollects watching Wayne’s movie as a young toddler and being incensed by way of the handsome, cavalier individual.    

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