The close-up eye asymmetry visual metaphor communicates the abject: evidence from Batman and Superman comics
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/50459
REDEN: revista española de estudios norteamericanos, n.3 (2021), pp. 41-64, ISSN 2695-4168
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internacional
A distinctive theme of Gothic narratives is the abject. A character that is abject threatens to disrupt boundaries, both personal and societal. As such, the abject character must be rejected or destroyed by society. In this study, I propose that the visual metaphor of Close-Up Eye Asymmetry (CUE-A) communicates the concept of the abject in Gothic narratives. I then investigate this proposal by comparing how often CUE-A is used when depicting Batman compared to Superman in comic books. Overall, I provide evidence that: (1) Batman is more Gothic than Superman, (2) Batman is more abject than Superman, and (3) Batman is depicted with CUE-A more often than Superman. Taken together, this shows that CUE-A co-occurs with the concept of the abject in Gothic narratives, supporting the idea that the CUE-A visual metaphor does, in fact, communicate the abject in Gothic narratives.