Configuring a cultural icon, interdisciplinary/interarts theory and the example of Marilyn Monroe
Chychota, Julie Charlene
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In Western society, an icon is predominantly understood as an image, the visual "contrary to the verbal sign" (Mitchell, ' Iconology' 56). To accept this definition, however, is to ignore the historical definition of icon, which admits its status as a configuration of both visual and verbal media. Although the duality of the icon has been readily reclaimed by technology, most visibly in the case of computer icons, other disciplines have been more reluctant to accept it. In a world where many images admit a wide range of possible interpretations, and in a world where we observe and are told that "image is everything," it becomes increasingly important to encourage dialogue about images. As a society and as individuals, we need to examine especially those instances when images seem to be narrowly defined and manipulated so as to elicit particular responses. This thesis chooses to trace a path along which a particular icon, Marilyn Monroe, has evolved, in order to develop an insight into the changing role of women.