Literary Features Examples and Commentating on Beyonce’s music video

Imagery – “And the saddest thing was she knew about what set off her explosions, but each time she managed to light a match, it had persistently been blown out.” (Esquivel 88) [LWFC]

Suspension of Disbelief – In Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, Grenouille is physically abused by other children to the brink of death, but he survives these gruesome acts of violence.

Juxtaposition – The treatment of both Medea and Jason are vastly contrasted in Euripides’ Medea.

Bildungsroman (Coming-of-Age) – Korra in the Legend of Korra series goes through many experiences as she takes the role of the Avatar: a person who possesses the ability to manipulate organic elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. She faces the reality of having a significant role in her world, which affects her physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Anthropomorphism – All the toys within the Toy Story universe come to life when no humans are in sight.

Irony – In The Lego Movie, Lucy thinks Emmett is acting like a normal person to disguise his identity as the Special, but he really acts ordinary. (Dramatic Irony)

Metaphor – “She was literally like water for chocolate!” (Esquivel 113) This metaphor represents how Tita was burning up like how boiling water is mixed with chocolate to make hot chocolate.


Commentary on Beyonce’s Formation music video

Through a Post-Colonial Lens

The United States has marginalised its black population for centuries, which has gradually lead to the BlackLivesMatter movement to universally publicize the racism that Black people perpetually face, as well to create a safe space for Black people to express themselves with excellence. Beyonce’s Formation focuses on one of the most tragic catastrophes that has put the community of Black people in New Orleans under the hood: hurricane Katrina. The music video starts with an interlude from the late social media celebrity Messy Mya (born Anthony Barre): “What happened at the New Wil’ins?” (What happened after New Orleans?) which introduces the video’s message of bringing awareness to the injustice against Black people post-Katrina. Thousands of Black lives have fallen to the hands of the police unfairly, which did not gain international awareness until the murder of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson and the controversy that arose between the shooting on August 9, 2014 and its one-year anniversary. Beyonce submerging underwater on top of a police car is imagery symbolising the hardships that Black Americans must live through against the systematic oppression of white supremacy.

Through a Feminist Lens

The chorus to Formation has the lyric “okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation,” which is accompany with Beyonce dancing in synchronisation with groups of Black women. Black women are objectified, invalidated, and antagonized throughout many societies. Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy, has even been discriminated for wearing her natural hair, to the point that people created a petition for her to comb her hair. This is why it is seen among Black women to act as moral support for each other, because they have to work together in order to be successful. Beyonce’s song serves as a Black anthem, not only for power, but also Black body-positivity, seen in the lyrics “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros, I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.”


Literary Features Examples and Commentating on Beyonce’s music video

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