The reality is not an abstraction of idea or ideologies. It is a concrete faculty of thinking from the interactions of people with each other and the environment. Simple representation lacks the details that would make the symbols used to be the reality. Jasinski (484) quoting Mitchell (11) stated that people are “representational animal” in that they create and manipulate signs i.e. things that “stand for” or take the place of other things. In this case, the use of simple representations would have to be of something that one can identify readily.
However, in this instance of over-simplification, the description, although may be valid, may not be the reality. For example, a cartoon of human faces may not be directly representing the real nature of human face because the modification of the face to show various emotions are too abstract to be real. Fundamentally, one cannot draw or represent the actual feelings because, in nature, they are abstract.
Besides, the way people use symbols to communicate is not the same way they use words. The rules are different in both. Language has definite rules that one can use to decipher information quickly and in a conventional way. However, simple representation does not have the strict regulations. As a consequence, the information the icons o symbols represent may vary depending on the one’s culture and past experiences.
In this case, the simple representations would lack the touch of reality because of the inherent weakness that various people may not perceive the message in a similar manner. That notwithstanding, the symbols allows people to go beyond the restrictive rules and explore imaginations. The imaginations are real.
Why the incomplete selection can be more powerful than “the real thing.”
The incomplete selection tends to tell a story in any medium and to a greater extent that reality. For instance, a cartoon is not a way of drawing but a way of seeing things from a various perspective. People tend to see real representations as those of others other than theirs. From this point of view, people detach themselves from the actual image of the self and, as a result, fails to recognize it beyond such perceptions. However, when the drawing or picture does not represent the actual thing, people become objective in that they would see themselves in the representation other than the other person.
The picture would bring out the experiences the people undergo either as an individual or a group. As a result, even though they are not complete, they tend to create a universal character that cuts across all cultures. McCloud (47) noted that symbols are a unified vocabulary. Besides, it is easy to understand a comic symbol. The languages limits do not exist in the use of simplified selections and, therefore, the representation becomes universally compelling.
Burke (107) stated that when all people are not in a mental collapse can experience the various kinds of moods, perceptions, emotions, feelings, and sensations. Although these experiences are universal, at no given time would an individual experience them all at the same time. It follows that the incomplete selection of reality are indeed the actual way people experience things making it inherently powerful. On top of that, the abstractions do not have limits in the way one can interpret them.
Burke, Kenneth. “The symbol as Formative.” In On Symbols and Society, Edited by Joseph R. Gusfield, 107-13. Chicago: University Press, 1989.
Jasinski, J. Ideology, reflection, and alienation in rhetorical and argumentative practice. Journal of the American Forensic Association. 1988.
McCloud, Scott. “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.” William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition April 27, 1994.