Discourse Concerning the Death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman

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On February 2, 2014 Phillip Seymour Hoffman best known for his diverse and odd roles in many movies like Magnolia, Synecdoche, New York and Savages passed way from what was expected as a drug overdose, most likely from heroine. Hoffman had secured many awards and accolades for his roles in theatre and film. In analysis of CBC news coverage and National Post’s online article created within hours of each other, narrative structure and discourse are used to create meaning. The reports plot a story of Hoffman’s life and his death and is finished with a plethora of other famed individuals reminiscing about his acting career. Discourse is explained though many mediums and is focused around the social construction of meaning. O’Shaughnessy and Stadler (2012, 172) state that discourse is a: …collective discussion or interplay of meanings and idea circulating around a particular subject, incorporating these different modes of expression and instances of communication Discourse tends to bring together a range of ideas and voices into overall discourses, especially with globalization in existence and social media outlets providing an audience with instant access to a powerful collection of resources. Narratives or stories are simple ways to make sense of an experience. Narrative is shared by all societies as humans understand and relate experiences through storytelling. Narrative is defined as “ a sequence of events taking place over a given period of time that are linked, mainly through cause and effect” O’Shaughnessy and Stadler (2012, 259). Television and print media have a diverse influence on discourse because of the generally large amount of exposure it is given. I have chosen to analyze and discuss the news story of the... ... middle of paper ... ...dia was trying to say. It was discovered that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had died a tragic death to drug abuse but his habits were ignored, rather focusing on his celebrity status and others who were famous speaking of his accolades. The CBC and National Post articles paralleled each other almost to the point in which both stories unfolded as well as a brief explanation of his death followed by a sprawl of famous individuals talking about his film and theatre roles. Each source also provided a dominant discourse that opinionated viewers to a critical stance on the topic at hand. Lastly, these many points led to the meaning behind the news articles by being a guardian of the knowledge about Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his shocking death. Works Cited O'Shaughnessy, M., & Stadler, J. (2012). Media and society. 5th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press

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