Propositional Density: Meaning, Motif, and the Art of Inception

What is “propositional density?”

Logo Design

President Obama’s 2008 campaign logo. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21123440
  • Blue arch
  • Red and white stripes (I consider this one element, but each stripe can be counted separately)
  • Circular cut-off of those stripes
  • Red, white, and blue = America
  • Red and white stripes = American flag
  • Amber waves of grain = heartland of America
  • Rising sun = new day for American politics (“Change”); opponents joked, “it’s a setting sun”
  • O for Obama
  • Circle symbolizes cohesion and unity
The icon in Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign logo. By Mitt Romney Campaign 2012 — This logo may be obtained from Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012. Source., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47099939
  • A red shape that looks like an R
  • A white negative-space shape that looks like an R
  • A blue shape that looks like an R
  • Red, white, and blue = America
  • R for Romney
  • R for Ryan
  • R for Republican, even (that was my brother’s contribution)
  • Wavy = a flag
Flag of the Netherlands. By Zscout370 — Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=363168

Character Design

From http://es.starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Archivo:Masterobiwan.jpg
By Enrique Dans from Madrid, Spain — We are legionUploaded by SunOfErat, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30480799
  • Guy Fawkes = a revolutionary
  • Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo = a man whose obsession for revenge takes its toll on love that could be his
  • Batman = a brooding, masked, caped crusader with seemingly unlimited resources seeking justice (he’s even got the underground lair)
  • The Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” = a monster who falls in love, and is loved by, a beautiful woman who helps him find redemption
  • Quasimodo = a hideous monster who has a beautiful heart
  • The Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera = an elusive, disfigured, white-masked man who is a genius — but a terrifyingly cruel and murderous one

Symbol and Motif

From https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110074/mediaviewer/rm624432896
  1. The circle
  • The hoola hoop (and Norville Barnes’ blueprint for it — “you know, for kids!”)
  • The frisbee (and Norville’s blueprint for it)
  • New Years (“ol’ daddy earth fixin’ to start one more trip ‘round the sun”)
  • The clock on Hudsucker Tower
  • The coffee stain on the newspaper ad
  • An executive exclaims, “I’m getting off this merry-go-round!”
  • The great turning gears of the Hudsucker Tower clock’s gear room
  • Karma (“a great wheel that gives us all what we deserve”)
  • Second chances — in life, love, and business
  • Waring Hudsucker jumps and falls from the Tower
  • Norville gets promoted from the bottom of the company (mail worker) to the top (president), and subsequently changes workplaces from the bottom of the company (mailroom in the basement) to the top (executive suite)
  • Norville rises and falls emotionally (“How’d he get so high, and why’s he feelin’ so low?”)
  • Buzz begins to rise as Norville begins to fall
  • Norville slips and falls from the Tower
  • Pride and humility, which in turn bring . . .
  • Success and failure — in life (promise and demise), love (new and lost), and business (promotion and bottoming out).

Genre and Allegory

From https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/mediaviewer/rm3426651392

Everyday inception

I’m a writer, designer, husband, father, and Latter-day Saint. I write about Creativity, Productivity, and Self-improvement. I‘m writing my first novel.

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David Knell

David Knell

I’m a writer, designer, husband, father, and Latter-day Saint. I write about Creativity, Productivity, and Self-improvement. I‘m writing my first novel.

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