You may have noticed that my SOAPSTone posts vary in relevance to the actually “SOAPSTone-ing”: I’m usually not using SOAPSTone, but rather, just discussing an aspect of SOAPSTone. Today (it’s actually almost tomorrow where I am), I’m going to talk about audience a bit.
An author’s approach to and presentation of their works are usually based on who their audience is. I use the term “author” loosely, a better word would probably be speaker, and by speaker, I mean anyone who’s trying to say something, whether it be by written text, speech or some other medium. A speaker’s audience, in turn, is the group of people who are listening to that speaker, whether that group of people is examining printed media or physically present when the speaker is presenting his or her ideas.
It’s usually a good idea to be aware of your audience and know who you’re writing for; you never know who is listening. I think that most of you guys out there reading this are probably fellow students in my English class, or at least students at my school, but I could be wrong. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between the way I usually talk and the way I write, but I could be wrong. When I want to write for a broad audience, I try to use general examples that most people would understand, like Frozen and Disney examples. When I’m looking purely to express myself, I might use examples that are more obscure because they are more closely related to my experiences or favorite things. Of course, a balance between the two would be good for my blog, but in some cases like writing a formal essay or attending a party with a bunch of close friends, it would be preferable to use one over the other (I think it’s pretty self explanatory which one I’d use for which situation).
You also see trends in media like movies that evolve based on the changing moods and views of their audience. Going back to Frozen, the relationship between Hans and Anna, best observed in the song, “Love is an Open Door,” is a joke based on the brief courtships of past Disney movies. For example, though they have really known each other since childhood, Aurora and Philip seem to fall in love in the span of a single dance sequence. It’s undoubtedly charming and romantic, but unrealistic. Sleeping Beauty’s message in this moment, interpreted in a stretch, could be condoning following strangers deep into the woods. In addition, Disney’s concept of love seems to have changed within the past 50- 60 years: true love has been redefined to not only include romantic love, but also familial love. While older Disney movies like Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty talk about true love as it exists between lovers, some newer Disney films like Brave and Frozen talk about love among family members. In Brave, Merida’s reconciliation with her mother is key to the story while in Frozen, the act of true love that saves Anna from becoming an ice statue is her act of self-sacrifice to save her sister instead of a true love’s kiss between Kristoff and Anna. Strong female characters such as Merida and Anna are good examples for little girls today because they embody what we value. Sure they’re both very headstrong, but they’re persistent in their goals, independent and strong in their own right.
Picture credits to Roger Reuver, https://www.flickr.com/photos/reuver/10105949326/in/photolist-8Aeo4y-ajf35K-y2SLc-3gRLHW-8BSPcp-8JtM7o-owny8N-2VgXP1-f1dAKK-8DQRtL-dTVczp-8DQRob-8ukLTP-dTVcsr-4mQ92F-7ghTnc-7KmnEc-gp2CDC-74sNTR-7gmPno-7ghTnZ-7HZ1qd-nSJiny-aEWSPf-nYTN96-hPpxB-fCzM1K-78MuHw-a6Faqj-fCztLp-6Wjja7-9mSwjr-5BcC8o-5B8rcP-5B8rwD-5BcCto-d6A8L-5f4Agi-hp1uX-4USxZ2-8ahP8Y-7Pcd8p-kmT3E-ejmAGX-5D9pAA-9DZ7ZJ-PvxXc-8yzQKb-8UnEas-8ni9Mm