The hoodie meme—pictures on the Web of cowled people from Jesus to St. Gaudens’ haunting sculpture (shown)—displays the power of the trope. In this case, the hoodie represents a metonymy.
metonymy (meh-TAHN-ih-mee). From the Greek, meaning “name change.” One of the two belonging tropes, along with synecdoche. The metonymy takes a quality of something or someone and makes it stand for the whole.
Young Trayvor Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Geraldo Rivera, the sinisterly mustachioed telecorrespondent, opined that the hoodie was as culpable in the boy’s death as the shooter.
And so was launched a whole bunch of solidaritousds pictures showing non-teenagers—from Jesus to the Miami Heat—with hoodies. The metonymy connects traits across widely disparate examples (including, in this case, a member of Congress who got booted off the floor for violating the House’s hat rules).
As for the word hoodie itself, it’s a synecdoche, which takes a part of something—in this case, the hood, and makes it stand for the whole shebang.
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