Two Roads to Middle-earth Converge: Observing Text-based and Film-based Mental Images from TheOneRing.net Online Fan Community
Grek Martin, Jennifer M.
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Mental imagery as a form of human cognition is still not well understood, particularly in the area of spatiality. This thesis attempts to find the relationship between the mental images of places created while reading a story (ekphrastic) and the mental images created while viewing a cinematic adaptation of that story. Using Bakhtin’s idea of chronotope, and Panofsky’s theory of iconography, associations can be made between places in text and film that inform the themes that readers/spectators identify and evaluate. Netlytic, an online text analysis tool, permits the analysis of online message board fan opinions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings according to themes of visualization and of place. Analysis of findings suggests that mental images created from the text and from the filmic adaptation are both passively and actively integrated in order to increase comprehension of spatial elements in Tolkien’s epic.