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Tank Man

In: Other Topics

Submitted By MrDegraff
Words 1198
Pages 5
Leonte Degraffenreid
October 15, 2013
Engl 111
Professor Drake
Tank Man
On June 5, 1989 an unknown man from Beijing stood in front of a column of military tanks. This was the day the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force. This photograph was taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press. This picture is considered one of the iconic images of the 20th century. But there has been a repurposed image of the tank man that has yellow ducks instead of military tanks. The rubber duck has become very popular in Hong Kong Harbor. The author of this photo is unknown. It was published on June 5, 2013 on the Chinese micro blogging website Weibo, and has received so much attention that Chinese authorities have banned the term “big yellow duck”. What has not been told is that the government in china still does everything to keep the event in mystery, pretending it never happened. Looking at both of these pictures there has been a meaning change to the photo “Tank Man” because there was a switch of military tanks and rubber ducks. In both photo there is similarities and differences. In the Jeff Wiedener Photo “Tank Man”, there is a man who was protesting at Tiananmen Square while the military where going down the street. This unknown man, some saying his name is Wang Weilin, walked in the middle of the street and stopped in front of a line of military tanks. In a result of that these tanks had stop and tried to move around him and he wasn’t letting them go around. While he is standing in front of these tanks, he has two grocery bags in his hands. This unknown man shows courage and no fear because he stands up in front of a lot of people and a line of military tanks. Article explains that the man stepped in front of the tank every time it tried to make a move around him, so the tank completely stopped their engines. He then jumped on top of the tanks and held a brief conversation with a crew member and then got off and stood back in front of the tank. The “Big Yellow Duck” photo shows us the same man from “Tank Man” photo but instead of tank, there are big yellow ducks. The reason for the ducks was to spread word about the anniversary while circumventing Chinese internet censors. That blocks phrases like “June 4” and “Tiananmen Square” from being searched on social media. It shows awareness because people catch on to these big ducks but can tell that they are repurposing the image “Tank Man”. The differences between these photos are the meanings and the switch between the ducks and tanks. When the tanks are in the image, you think about the war and how this man is brave enough to stand in front of all those tanks. When the ducks are in the image you think about how the government are showing censorship to the image because they are trying to hide what happen on June 4 1989. In the original image the relationship between the unknown man and the men that are in the tanks is that the man is upset at the military because of the war and force they are using to the people in their country. There is no relationship in the repurposed image.
The similarities between the two are they both have the same setting which is in the middle of the street in Tiananmen Square. There was no aspect of nature shown in this picture because the pictures focus mostly on the man and the tanks, then the man and the ducks. They both use the same Framing which was a direct look at the man and tanks, and man and ducks. There was the same use of light in both images and they both gave off the same light effect. The photographer focus on the main part of the image, that is the man standing in front of the tanks. The viewers were brought close to the subject and knew what the images were trying to focus on. There was good enough color in both pictures to give you the feel on what the texture of the image was if seen in person. Messages persuade through appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos is the appeal to reason. This means is there a clarity in asserting a thesis or point, and to the quality of reason and evidence used to support the point. In these pictures there both appeal to logos. The reason on the first picture is to represent the bravery of the man standing in front of the tanks. The reason for the second picture is to let it be known that there is a censorship in china when looking up anything that has to do with the day of “JUNE 4’. Ethos is the appeal to the character of the speaker/writer. This shows how effectively the photographer can effectively explain himself through the photographs. In both pictures there is a effective way these picture have towards the audience. Both photos had a big affect on the society around the world. When people think about the “Tank Man” picture people start to think what made him think to do that. Was that the correct thing to do? These photos bring up all type of questions that have yet to be answered because no one knows the man in the picture. Pathos is the appeal to the sympathies, values, beliefs, and emotions of the audience. Pathos is showed n these pictures also. “Tank Man” picture raises so many different emotions because there is a strong feature to this picture. The emotions can range from happy all the way to sacred. Some people may have been happy that he was standing up to those military tanks showing that he was a brave man and standing up for what is right to him. People may have felt scared because that was a scary call to go in front of a powerful country military. He easily could get killed by those tanks or even get really hurt. So emotions can range from all different emotions.
A lot of people can imagine what he was feeling in that moment the time was talking. Imagining how he was feeling standing in front of those tanks and kept jumping in front of it when it was trying to avoid him and get around him. Even the audience can imagine what he is thinking when he staring directly into the tanks. This picture brings up all type of conversation about what he was thinking and how he really felt about the military. In general I think these pictures appeals to ethos, pathos and logos.
In conclusion these photos have a lot of common things, but they both were used for different meanings. The repurposed photo has a purpose that makes sense why it would use these big yellow ducks. But both photographers show and tell use the meanings of these pictures and why this picture both affected the society of the world.

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