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Gendered Environments

In “Defining Visual Rhetorics,” the author makes use of very descriptive ekphrasis to detail advertisements and their use of gender roles and perspectives relative to environments in order to reach their audience and sell their product. The description of gender use in specific environments showed that time period’s attitudes towards the femininity and masculinity of fresh-aired nature environments versus polluted, brutalist industrial environments. It also signified the strict gender roles of this time period: specifically that women’s roles were to clean up after the men’s industrial mess, as described in the article with the advertisement for soap. The author’s use of ekphrasis helps the reader see the visuals of the ad he is talking about without actually looking at it but simply relying on the author’s description. The reader can see not only the ad but how the ad was used to express a view of gender roles and the environment that reflected society’s views at the time and was advantageous for selling their products.

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