Donald Trumph’s Facial Expressions With Different Kinds Of Emotive Interpretations Before, During And After Usa’s 2020 Presidential Election

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Ajepe, Ife Fiyinfolu & Aroge, Modupe Grace


This study examines Donald Trumph’s facial expressions before, during and after USA’s 2020 Presidential election with different kinds of emotive meanings. The study adopts a social semiotic approach to the analysis of the data and employs a theoretical framework in visual communication drawing insights from Kress and Van Leewen’s (2006), Multimodal Discourse Analysis theory. The data comprised of purposively selected Donald Trumph’s pictures downloaded from the internet before, during and after the USA’s 2020 presidential election for the primary data. The study reveals that facial expressions are rich in meaning potential and are governed by visual grammar structures which can be utilized to decode the meanings of the different facial expressions. Sadness expressed through frowns, lowered eyes and lowered heads, are icons and represent the emotions of president Donald Trumph. The analysis contributes to our understandings of the use of facial expression, gesture and posture from social semiotics field. The study concludes that the facial expression features of human faces are important to our interpersonal interactions since they suggest to us who the viewed and viewers are, whether they agree with one another or not. In addition, the study shows that the president’s visual ‘invitation’ is a ‘demand’ picture with a beckoning hand and a smiling expression; while his visual ‘summons’, is a ‘demand’ picture with a beckoning hand and an unsmiling expression; and his visual ‘warning’, is a ‘demand’ picture with a raised forefinger and a stern expression; and so on.

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