A multimodal analysis of Daddy's Roommate : deconstructing compositional and interpersonal meanings

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2020, vol. 46, iss. 2, pp. 25-46
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
This paper employs the model to analyse visual narratives in children's picturebooks proposed by Painter, Martin and Unsworth (2013) and Kress and van Leeuwen's visual social semiotics (2006), in order to observe the main compositional and interpersonal meanings created in the picturebook Daddy's Roommate. The aim of the study is to look at the position of the readers in the story and to observe the way the characters are represented and the relationships between them. The role of the mother will also be deconstructed, due to her importance in the story. I will analyse the main characteristics of the interpersonal and compositional metafunctions by exploring the way in which the visual and textual component create meaning. The methodology is mainly qualitative-descriptive. The analysis reveals that the abundance of middle-shots and close-ups suggest involvement between the characters represented in the book and the reader. Moreover, the predominance of offers points out that the reader is invited to observe the relationship and the actions that the child has with Daddy and his roommate and to see how positive it is. The compositional meanings show that both Daddy and his roommate appear in prominent positions to show that they are important in the child's life. In most cases, the written theme coincides with the visual one as a way to reinforce the complementary meaning of both modes of communication in the story.
  • This study was carried out as part of the research project FFI2017-85306-P (The Construction of Discourse in Children's Picturebooks, AMULIT), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
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