The article, "Denotation, Connotation and Myth," by Ronald Barthes, states that "dominant cultural and historical values, attitudes and beliefs seem entirely 'natural', 'normal', self-evident" (9). Daniel Chandler argues that denotation is the "'literal' and connotation is the "personal associations" (1), which lends itself to Barthes's concept of ideology. Based on Chandler, the denotative meaning of a sign only gives us its obvious meaning. The connotative meaning provides more information in terms of a subjective analysis of the sign. In addition, Barthes's concept of ideology enables us to make individual connections; therefore, we are able to easily understand the meaning of signs as we see them. The image of the Muslim woman is a clear and obvious sign that is trying to convey the concept of racism to its audience. People who view are should be able to understand that it is an image of discrimination occurring. Chandler and Barthes's concepts articulate how denotation and connotation relate to ideology. The photo of the Muslim woman involves ideology, which can be analyzed through the move, They Live, and the recent Nice terrorist attack.
The background of this photo offers a lot of information about American and Islamic culture and how various ideologies are being reinforced through racism. In the photo, the Muslim woman is holding an American flag and stating that she is not a member or believer of ISIS (Betancur). In the current US presidential election, the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, advocates that the United States should "ban all Muslim travel to U.S." (Diamond), meaning that all Muslim travel would be suspended in that country. This is a significant political change and many Muslims in the United States have protested against this. Trump is clearly discriminating against Islamic culture by stating that it is a danger to American safety and security.