Free Concept of Hollywood Essay Sample

It is hard to argue with the fact that a contemporary life of the society is surrounded by a wide range of images. Average people seem not to pay any special attention to them, while such images render exact messages to the society. Regarding such fact, the article Hollywood Sign by Robert Beverley Ray describes a phenomenon of a so-called Hollywood sign. It designates the fact that modern U.S. society admires images of so-called good bad boys rather than opposing to them good good boys. It is necessary to note that the U.S. citizens prefer the first concept even though the related characters are presented as outlaws, who act on their own without any respect to the government and laws. Taking such points into account, the following paper reveals an additional perspective of the phenomenon. To be more specific, the following study proves that linguistics and semiotic term of dichotomy can be applied as long as society, culture and language are mutually related. Regarding that, it is necessary to discuss the idea that Hollywood sign may designate a message of the U.S. national identity, which is based on the democracy as a freedom of choice.

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To begin with, it is necessary to provide the reasons for the further argumentation and the main thesis of the paper. First of all, linguistics, as well as semiotics are the main determinants of Hollywood sign. It is essential to note that dichotomy is not a deviation from a normal conceptualization and identification. Therefore, there is no need to explore the essence of the irrational connection, while it is more important to distinguish what information the related concept can render. It is increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that language is a system of signs that are used for communication, hence, any concept is used in such process, which is typical of human society. In such way, concept of national identity obtains its form via communication within the U.S. society.

Then, it is worth saying that any language has a binary hierarchy. Language is a social phenomenon so that changes in society cause corresponding changes within a particular language. Grammatical, lexical and phonetic perspectives of language are changed. As a consequence, certain oppositions change their dominance within this language making a stronger element of opposition a main determinant of grammatical and lexical form. Provided that language addresses a social context, it is worth saying that social conceptualization of identity is also based on the oppositions. That is why the society chooses between some concepts. Likewise, the U.S. society determines its concept of a national identity. It can be traced in the given article Hollywood Sign that describes positioning of good bad boy and good good boy. It is obvious that both concepts can be referred to the national identity, but society chooses the strongest element in such opposition.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that the concept of Hollywood sign is affected from the external reality. Needless to say, good bad boys have become an object of a mass culture so that they render sympathy among the majority of the U.S. citizens. It can be explained by the fact that psychologically, the majority of people are dreaming of obtaining such a cool image, but an implication on being an outlaw prevents them from doing that. That is why they subconsciously support and admire such characters. Besides that, good bad boys render an image of an ideal man for contemporary females as long as such characters are commonly associated with being cool and trendy. Taking all the external factors into account, it is to be said that the descripted attitudes towards good bad boys are caused by particular process of cognition that can be referred to language, as well. In fact, expressing a certain attitude can be presented as shaping of a message that the related concept renders. Thus, a message can be different for various people, while the concept remains to be the same. That is why Hollywood sign cannot be replaced with some other sign.

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Unstated Assumption

Regarding the first reason, the phenomenon of linguistic and social dichotomy addresses larger contexts of the society. The given binary opposition good good boy versus good bad boy is one of the key determinants of a natural national identity of the United States and the connection between sign and concept is not logical but natural. Needless to say, good bad boy is more popular nowadays. There is no direct logic in admiration of an outlaw, but a sudden positive behaviour of American character makes one to regard that character as a good bad boy. As a consequence, a concept of good bad boy implies a message of democracy as a freedom of choice, which can be considered as a real feature of the U.S. national identity. Any good bad boy chooses when and how to act without any respect to the law and government. In such way, a linguistic and semiotic rule of dichotomy makes its impact on the social identification, while the society influences the related language.

To speak about the oppositions in a more specific way, it should be admitted that opposition exists even not only at linguistic level. Initially, any society is a dynamically developing system and that is why a contemporary American society has reached the state, which values democracy as a freedom of choice. As a result, the related dominance of concepts has switched on good bad boy that has become the strongest member of the opposition. It has made a concept of good good boy different and no longer regarded as a trait of the national identity. Such evidence presupposes the fact that grammatical opposition, which is related to language, addresses such large socio-cultural context because language and community are mutually related and influence each other. As it has been mentioned in the previous section, language is a means of communication and concepts obtain their form through the given process. That is why socio-cultural concept obeys a linguistic-semiotic rule.

In regard to the influence of extralingual factors, it is necessary to note that it make various impacts. Such influence is wrongly considered as a negative impact of a mass culture, but the admiration of good bad boy is based on the personal choice of every single individual. The choices are also referred to the process of cognition that influences the concept in a certain context. Creation of a particular attitudedepends on personality of individual and inference knowledge regarding the related concept. That is why the choice of good bad boy as a feature of national identity is a personal choice that cannot be rendered by mass culture. Besides that, mass culture is aimed at obtaining control over citizens behaviors, while the concept of good bad boy is based on images of outlaws that contradict obedience to the government.

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Regarding the reasons of the related unpredicted assumption, it is to be admitted that linguistic-semiotic dichotomy can render the concept of Hollywood sign. In such way, Hollywood and literary characters, which are presented as outlaws, are regarded as generally positive images. They presuppose a concept of freedom of choice as long as such typical characters choose how they will act themselves. It is a real freedom of choice that is not regulated by any governmental institution. In addition, overall traits of good bad boys character cause certain sympathy from the side of the U.S. citizens. As a result, linguistic, semiotic and cognitive perspectives of the concept address the context of a socio-cultural level (de Saussure, 2013). It is a natural phenomenon even though a choice of an outlaw refers to a representative of national identity. Provided that the described concept is a result of a natural phenomenon, Hollywood sign designates a real feature of the U.S. national identity.

Consequently, the image of good bad boy can be considered as sympathy of the majority of Americans. Hence, it will change under a wide range of circumstances so that the language will be changed, as well. The change of the strongest member in conceptual oppositions proves the relation between society and language. Actually, a Hollywood sign is invariable itself and the society, on the other hand, changes its attitude towards the concept. In other words, the same concept can be regarded differently depending on certain social, cultural and historical settings. To the largest extent, attitudes towards a particular concept are changed at the level of social context and that is why determinant of social identity can be changed in the described way. Thus, people are not influenced by mass culture from such perspective because a change in a national identity is a natural response to a current situation. To put it in a simpler way, people change their national identity due to their own will.

Concerning changes in cognition, they can be directed to certain changes that mean different perception of the same concepts. It can be explained by the fact that society is supplied with new actual inference knowledge that addresses a current state of society and a particular country. As it has been mentioned before, the main source for inference knowledge is such external factors as historical, economic, political and cultural changes. That is why the changes in the strongest member of opposition should be also regarded as natural. Taking the above points into consideration, it should be noted that forming of certain attitudes towards the concept is a temporary contextualization of it. It is a true statement, while inference knowledge and internal factors of an individual create a custom context for perception of a message of a particular concept. Thus, such fact proves that concept is a static phenomenon, while context, in which it is perceived, is dynamic.

Counter Argument

On the contrary, an assumption regarding dichotomy can be argued. Provided that good bad boy renders a freedom of choice, the following questions still emerges: why a logical connection between a sign and a concept cannot render the same or any other message even though it is not tied to a linguistic and semiotic theory? Needless to say that dichotomy is a linguistic term. It is not appropriate to apply a linguistic term to the extralingustic reality. Thus, dichotomy cannot be applied to a concept of American good bad boy. It is possible to deliver a similar message without involvement of linguistics and semiotics but still address the level of society and culture. In other words, dichotomy is hardly applicable to such case and creates unnecessary complications, while a real essence of Hollywood sign is rather explicit. Generally speaking, excessive complication of issues can be referred to the rest of the assumptions and claims.

As for social and linguistic changes, it is worth saying that the concept is relatively stable. It remains the same, as well as its contextualization from the perspective of inference knowledge. In other words, change in attitudes towards a particular concept is not connected with a linguistic paradigm. In the same manner, a particular language cannot be changed entirely under social circumstances of a various extent of strength. Instead, it is possible that a certain social group may separate from its former community due to the different attitudes towards the key concepts. Still, the emerging of a new identity does not mean that it will replace the previous one. For that reason, a theory of oppositions should be also denied. A concept of good good boy may become strong for a certain part of the society so that they will consider that as a part of their own identity. Hence, a term of oppositions is obviously vague and cannot be applied to the studies of American culture.

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Speaking about perspective of cognition, it should be noted that any human-being conducts numerous cognitive processes on a regular basis. That is why mass media and culture make their impact on people. According to the outlined claim, people are capable of making a choice regarding what content to perceive. In fact, it is not completely true as long as the majority of people do not refuse to perceive mass culture content. It is not actually possible due to the fact that mass culture obtains the major part of a contemporary media space. With regard to the image of outlaw, it is proactively promoted on purpose as long as mass culture intends to render the society a fake feeling of freedom of choice. As a result, people consider that they make their choice without influence of a third party, while it was the main purpose of mass culture.


In response to the counter arguments, it is important to admit that a logical connection between a sign and a concept can be applied to a particular concept. To the largest extent, every concept contains a message. In fact, a concept of good good boy also delivers a particular message, but it is not commonly accepted as a message and related concept, which can be associated with traits of the national identity. As for dichotomy as a term of linguistics and semiotics, it is essential to note that language and society are closely related. That is why such connection is also natural and dichotomy can be applied to explanation of Hollywood sign as socio-linguistic phenomenon. Therefore, the connection between concept of good bad boy and its social admiration is not logical but natural. Additionally, language is a communicative tool and that is why it cannot be omitted as long as it is one of the comprising aspects of society.

Further, it is worth saying that the concept of national identity does not change proactively during long periods. Instead, its context is changeable and it can be referred to linguistics and semiotics, as well. As it has been mentioned in the previous section, inference knowledge of individual is formed by historical, social, cultural and other external settings. Actually, it is the main linguistic rule regarding contextualization. The same concepts and its message may have various connotations depending on the context that is created by optimization of certain inference knowledge. In such way, linguistics makes its impact on contextualization of any concept. The main drawback of the related counter argument is based on the fact that it does not consider a depth of linguistics impact on the sociocultural conceptualization. However, the new inference knowledge should influence the majority of a particular community. In case some percentage of people still does not share the same contextualization of the national identity concept, they usually attempt to create their own context and separate.

It should be admitted that a concept of good bad boy can be observed not only by average citizens of the U.S. . For instance, such characters as Huckleberry Finn, Holden Caulfield, Alex (Clockwork Orange), Jordan Belfort and others can be regarded as good bad boys as long as they are outlaws, but their further behavior makes people sympathetic towards them. All of them act on their own in accordance with their free will. In addition, mass culture does not presuppose its audience to run any cognitive processes regarding the content, while a concept of good bad boy is provoking. Besides that, shaping of a concept is a reflexive process and as a result every individual receives its message via his or her personal shape of perception. Finally, it is important to admit that a fake freedom of choice can be rendered only via a mass culture. Despite that fact, a message of good bad boy concept means a freedom of choice without any respect to the concept itself. In other words, the main idea is based on the fact that an individual may choose any concept to be his or her feature of identity. In such way, one may choose a concept of good good boy or some other, but it will be still his or her own expression of free will.


All in all, Hollywood sign that designates the concept of good bad boy renders a message of the national American identity, which is based on the democracy and a freedom of choice. The article Hollywood Sign by Robert Beverley Ray outlines the idea that the contemporary U.S. society strongly admires outlaw characters, who act positively and are presented as the main protagonists. The article lingers upon the description of such phenomenon, while current paper gives an account to it from the perspective of linguistics and semiotics. To be more exact, the paper proves that such choice of feature of the national identity is based on the linguistic-semiotic term of dichotomy that means that a connection between a sign and a related concept is not logical but natural. Moreover, the paper assumes that people choose a concept of a so-called good bad boy because it is the strongest member of opposition between that concept and a concept of good good boy. It is also a term of linguistics so, as a result, the paper claims that language is closely tied to the society. Besides that, the study pays attention to the external factors that influence human cognition as a comprising factor of relationships between the system of signs and society. Eventually, it is necessary to make the further research, which will to linger upon Hollywood sign from the perspective of pragmatics.


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