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Intertextuality in Environmental Articles Essay

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2021

Introduction

From the very outset it is necessary to explain the necessity of intertextual analysis and the notion of intertextuality of text. The mechanism of intertextuality may be understood as the necessity of texts’ referring to other texts, when they “rely on them for their meaning” (Porter 34). The complex multidimensional analysis of a text as the structure that involves, explains, and interprets other ideas while moving to the generation of its own ideas is necessary to make the understanding of the texts and authors’ ideas better. Intertextual analysis may function as the mirror of society on the textual level, it gives the reflection of the interaction of societal elements on the basis of recurrence of ideas in texts and references to particular sources. The task of the present paper is to define the central concepts of three texts and explain the way how ideas are employed to give the presentation of these concepts. The texts that form the corpus of the present investigation are as follows: “Natural Environment and Human Culture: Defining Terms and Understanding Worldviews”, “The Problem of Wildlife Photography”, “The Black Bear Hunt in New Jersey: A Construction Analysis of an Intractable Conflict”. An attempt will be made to define intertextual ideas relying on the chosen texts.

Main Body

The concept of plagiarism

As intertextual analysis presupposes the establishment of relations of the present texts with the sources that already exists, the actual concepts that are formulated in the texts are not important for the present analysis. The intertextual analysis is aimed not at the content of the texts, it should analyze the form more, and it should take the ideas concerning the literary sources that are used in the text in order to implement the main idea. However, the analysis of the texts will also be applied in order to support the assumptions suggested.

It is possible to define three concepts of intertextuality: the concept of plagiarism, the concept of misrepresentation in leading to a conclusion, and the concept of paying attention to some certain subjects rather than other. The zest of this type of analysis is in the fact that no article among those that are analyzed in this paper deal with these concepts openly, however, they give symbolic interpretation of them.

Let us take, for instance, the concept of plagiarism as it is presented in “The Problem of Wildlife Photography”. Explicitly, the author of the text, Bill McKibben, is informing the audience about the problem of wildlife photography, however, this text, may be interpreted as the one carrying implicit information. For the process of taking pictures of wild animals resemble the process of creating plagiarism while doing some research work or investigation. Both of these issues concern human morale, as the author states that “wildlife photography raises ethical problems” (McKibben 74). The similarity of the process of making photos of wild nature and the concept of plagiarism may be seen through the whole article. As for the intertextuality, it can be stated, that on the basis of assumption of the likeness of the notions of making photos of wild nature and plagiarism may become the subject of scientific analysis, and that the article may be used by linguists in the research, though we have not yet found the any proof of the application of this idea. Returning to the notion of plagiarism and photo of wildlife, the following quotation may be useful: “It is not even completely quixotic to imagine such a clearinghouse forming”, the clearinghouse that would be the storage of all the materials on wild nature existing, so that anyone who could borrow whatever he/she would need from the range of the materials available (McKibben 79). It is evident that this idea of the clearinghouse bears strong resemblance to libraries with all literature available that gives the researcher the necessary information but needs references instead. Thus, it can be stated that the same text may be also used to illustrate the concept of misrepresentation in leading to a conclusion. No matter which area we choose, either literature, or wild world, the conclusion will be that the originality of the material should be saved due to existing sources.

This realization of this very concept may be traced in “The Black Bear Hunt in New Jersey: A Construction Analysis of an Intractable Conflict”. On the whole, the article may be characterized by high level of intertextuality, as the research is entirely based on the analysis of the existing materials. The concept of misrepresentation in leading to a conclusion has much in common with the next concept under analysis, the concept of paying attention to some certain subjects rather than others. The latter may be easily traced in the article “The Black Bear Hunt in New Jersey: A Construction Analysis of an Intractable Conflict”. The very abstract of the paper suggests it: different individuals are inclined to the way of interpretation of the given material depending on their motivation and ultimate aim. The article presents “manifest and latent content analysis to assess editorial materials written about the bear hunt in New Jersey over 10-year period ending in 2005” (Harker and Bates 335). The very method of the study resembles the one that was performed above, when we compared wildlife with literature. So, the article dwells on the difference of interpretation of the same source by people with opposing views, drawing the audience’s attention to the

controversy about black bears in new Jersey: one that presented the bear hunt as a solution to bear overpopulation and one that defined humans as the problem for not learning to live in harmony with the bears (Harker and Bates 341-342).

The concept of misrepresentation in leading to a conclusion

The above mentioned quotation proves the reliability of the concept of misrepresentation in leading to a conclusion. The very existence of the presentation of the views of the naturalists and bear-hunt supporters also proves the concept of paying attention to some certain subjects rather than others. The individuals chose the material that was useful for them and interpreted it in the way they needed. A perfect proof of this idea is the episode in the article where one hunt supporter uses biblical text to legitimate the bear haunt:

Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Harker and Bates 345).

The concept of paying attention to some certain subjects rather than other

The realization of this concept may be successfully traced while defining the terms in “Natural Environment and Human Culture: Defining Terms and Understanding Worldviews”. The authors state that the “definition of natural environment offered by Johnson et al. focuses on one causative agent of change (human culture) rather than the scale and rate of change” (McIsaac and Brün 10). The authors’ statement of the inconsistency between the justification and the definition is the proof of the reliability of the concept.

Conclusion

Drawing a conclusion, it should be mentioned that the successful research presupposes a wide range of the analyzed sources. The skills of analysis of the concepts that are studied in this paper ensure deep understanding of the content of the source. Intertextuality of the texts appears to be the basis for analysis and the means of uncovering the implied information.

Works Cited

Harker, Dave, and Diane C. Bates. “The Black Bear Hunt in New Jersey: A Construction Analysis of an Intractable Conflict.” Society and Animals 15 (2007): 329-352.

McIsaac, G.F., and M. Brün. “Natural Environment and Human Culture: Defining Terms and Understanding Worldviews”. Journal of Environmental Quality 28.1. (1999): 1-10.

McKibben, Bill. “The Problem of Wildlife Photography.” How We Want to Live: Narrative on Progress. Ed. Susan R. Shreve, and Porter Shreve. NY: Beacon Press, 1998: 74-83.

Porter, James E. “Intertextuality and the Discourse Community.” Rhetoric Review 5. 1 (1986): 34-47.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Intertextuality in Environmental Articles." November 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/intertextuality-in-environmental-articles/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Intertextuality in Environmental Articles'. 26 November.

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