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This is an investigation on the representation of Chris Brown, his childhood experience of domestic violence, how he was portrayed in the media after his assault on his ex-girlfriend and his success after the alleged assault. Three texts are going to be examined, all from different view points. Text A is an article written in the Daily News and written by Nancy Dillion. The Daily News of New York City is the fifth most circulated daily newspaper in the United States so it attracts a broad audience also concerning ethnicity and class.

Text B is a article written by Kia Miakka Natisse, for the news website known as The Grio. The Grio is a news website which offers news about African-Americans, so their main target audience would be African-Americans. Text C is a online news posting written by Ani Esmailian for the website known as “holly scoop”. This website is a news feed that revolves around events and celebrities in the entertainment industry. It targets a broad audience of users as the website can be used nationally and internationally.

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In each article and news posting, each writer shows a different view on the representation of Chris Brown, each writer is trying to persuade the reader into adopting their views on the particular celebrity. Text A represents Chris Brown in a negative way due to his assault on his girlfriend at the time, being brutal and disgusting. Text B represents Chris Brown in a good way by reporting how Chris Brown has gone from being a outcast to a loved icon again. Text C represents Chris Brown as someone who has had a negative childhood and how this experience has affected his life. Text A is representing Chris Brown in a negative light.

The semantics begin the article with “Rihanna’s hell ride”, illustrating her ordeal so the reader is fully aware the writer does not condone Chris Browns actions. Text A swaps between the name Chris Brown and the proper noun Brown. They use Chris Brown once which is in the second paragraph which is explaining how the situation escalated, they do this by reporting how Rihanna intercepted a text message from a former Chris Brown girlfriend. “A three page text message from a woman Chris Brown had been seeing”. This also adds a formality to the article which reinforces his actions.

However for the rest of the article the writer refers to Chris Brown as “Brown”, because it has more of a demeaning effect so it emphasises the writers disgust with his actions. Brown also has a informal tone to it compared to his full name adding the semantic feel of guilt as it’s a snappy remark, “Brown was quicker” and ” but Brown again was quicker”. These are two simple sentences, which the writer uses to get across the negative representation of Chris Brown. “A verbal argument ensued, that quickly escalated out of control, with Brown delivering a brutal and bloody beat down”-representing him in a negative way.

Two strong adjectives, “brutal” and “bloody” and the passive verb “delivering” further represent Chris Browns negative representation and condemn his actions further. Text B, The Grio refer to him by the proper nouns, Brown and Chris Brown to keep the article. As, The Grio is a website for African-Americans, it connects with its readers of its own culture by writing “it’s a characteristic of black culture to almost blindly close rank behind our celebrities”. The article makes use of the adverb blindly in its closing paragraphs of the article to suggest the African-American community all share a trait and can overlook a mishap.

This sentence also includes a possessive adjective, “our” to reinforce their group trait in which the writer has used so the target audience has a stronger sense of belonging and can relate to the black community. It a positive representation of Chris Brown as it ends the article with “talent trumps all” which is alliterative which means that The Grio and the African-American community will stand by Chris Brown as long as he does his job to the best of his ability. Text C refers to him as, Chris Brown and Chris. This shows a greater sense of informality and that the article is comfortable in what it is reporting.

It also shows that the article is representing him in a friendly manner, “Chris gave a very candid interview”. The adjective “candid” is used to represent Chris Brown in a good way and show that he is straight to the point and a very honest and fair male. Text A uses as many ways as possible to demean Chris Brown and to represent him in a negative way. It uses the past participle “fought” in the sentence, “Desperate to survive, Rihanna fought back”. This shows that Rihanna had to literally fight for her life but no matter how hard she tried, “Brown” was always one step ahead of her.

It makes use of the adjective desperate which indicates how driven Rihanna was to survive, she had to physically work to get to where she is today. It uses adjectives such as “trapped” and “exploded” to emphasis the negative representation of Chris Brown in this article. It uses imperative phrases such as “now I’m really going to kill you” to show the threatening orders Brown had issued. The article refers to Rihanna as a “sultry 21 year old”. “Sultry” is a abstract noun in which the writer uses to describe Rihanna as a sensual woman. These adjectives, imperative and abstract nouns all represent Chris Brown is a negative manner.

This article uses a mixture of compound, simple and complex sentences. It makes use of simple sentences with great effect on the negative representation of Chris Brown. With sentences like “Those words were like pouring gasoline on a fire” and “You just did the stupidest thing ever! “. Text B has a mutual representation towards Chris Brown. It uses verbs such as “scourge” to show how Chris Brown was treated which displays a negative representation. However then it uses nouns like “hail” which show how much his reputation has changed and how people are now seeing a positive side to him.

The writer of the Grio also uses a simile to highlight how much his representation had changed due to the assault – “Rihanna made him a virtual entertainment leper”. The article also takes a tone of informality by the writer using the form of slang with the quotation of “WTF”. The writer also questions his innocence. The writer says “Brown manages to portray himself as a victim in the situation”, this is a negative representation about Chris Brown but the article seems to swap in between positive and negative highlights.

Text B focuses on mostly verbs such as the past participle “denounced” and “retracting” as the article is more factual. Its purpose is to just inform people of his progress, it has reasonable negative and positive remarks throughout. In text B, three modals are used throughout. These are “couldn’t, wouldn’t and can”. Wouldn’t and couldn’t suggest impossibility in Chris Browns life however towards the end of the article, “can” the modal of possibility in this context is used which turns the impossible, possible-“Brown can perhaps move beyond his violent past”.

Text B uses more multiple complex sentences rather then the simple sentence structure text A favoured, this is because it has a lot more information to provide rather then just condemning him like Text A achieves. It swaps in-between compound sentences and complex, such as “His third album, released shortly after the incident, sold a paltry 339,000 units”. Text C has a more sympathetic view towards Chris Brown, as it takes his family’s past into consideration.

This article has a lot more adjectives used by the writer to more or less describe things which may have seemed unclear at first. Adjectives such as “candid, terrified and bloody”. It also explained things that happened beforehand which the writer makes use of a past participle which is “suffered”. This article is split into paragraphs which contain mostly complex sentences as it gives a lot of information then closes to release the next set of information. The modal of ability “could” is used in the context “his supposed attack could have been served as a trigger for his outburst”.

The three texts use similar methods of representing Chris Brown in the way they feel best such as making certain things stand out and exploiting some words to the reality of the situation. Text A is heavily biased towards Chris Brown. All three texts are trying to present representations of Chris Brown, Text A being a negative representation, Text B being mutual representation of Chris brown, as its neither negative or positive and Text C which supports Chris Brown due to his childhood background which gives a positive representation of Chris Brown.

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Kylie Garcia

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