Binary opposition media definition
- What is Levi Strauss' Theory of Binary Opposites? | MyTutor
- Binary Opposition Theory - Media Studies by Jevon Swan on
- The Truth Behind the American Dream
- What does Binary opposition mean?
A light switch is either on or off in a sports match, a team either wins or loses water is either hot or cold something in relation to something else can be left or right, up or down, in or out. These are opposites - concepts that can't exist together.
What is Levi Strauss' Theory of Binary Opposites? | MyTutor
Consider this image of a poster for the movie Order of the Phoenix. It features Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort and states 'Only one can survive,' reinforcing the idea of binary opposition between these two characters and what they represent.
Binary Opposition Theory - Media Studies by Jevon Swan on
The problem with a system of binary opposites is that it creates boundaries between groups of people and leads to prejudice and discrimination. One group may fear or consider the opposite group a threat, referred to as the 'other '. The use of binary opposition in literature is a system that authors use to explore differences between groups of individuals, such as cultural, class or gender differences. Authors may explore the gray area between the two groups and what can result from those perceived differences.
The Truth Behind the American Dream
In this story, Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with a potion that changes his appearance and personality from a kindly doctor to an ugly, brutish form (Mr. Hyde), who is rude and immoral. He appears to be completely independent of Jekyll, though he inhabits the same body he has a different address, looks and sounds different and wears different clothes. Realizing the impact of Hyde on his life, Jekyll struggles with this 'other' self, but eventually commits suicide and is found in the form of Hyde, but wearing Jekyll's clothes.
What does Binary opposition mean?
Stevenson uses the character of Jekyll/Hyde to explore the binary opposites of good and evil, but more importantly, that gray area between good and evil. Jekyll represents the good in human nature, while Hyde represents the evil. Both, however, exist in one man's body and struggle against each other. The struggle between these binary opposites can be said to represent the struggle within each of us between good and evil, reminding us that however hard we might try, we cannot truly compartmentalize the two most often human nature is neither exclusively good nor exclusively evil. We try to separate ourselves from the evil because we fear it, but the potential for it exists in human nature, even if not always active.
The term binary opposite refers to a system in which two things cannot exist at the same time (on/off, hot/cold, win/lose, etc.). The theory of binaries and binary opposition is often used in literature to explore the gray area between the two extremes and the consequences of placing things (or groups of people) in separate categories.
Often binary systems are created out of a sense of fear one group fears another group because it is different and views that difference as a threat. This group that poses a perceived threat is referred to as the 'other ' because it doesn't conform to what we perceive as normal. Binary opposition in literature illustrates for us the dangers of categorizing and labeling and reminds us that no one can be so easily categorized. We all share certain traits and we can, in fact, mutually exist.