According to Mitchell almost every aspect of life is about representation. Especially in literature just like point of view from Plato and Aristotle, regarded literature as the simply one form of representation. However, before we know about what representation is, we also have to know about presentation.
Humphrys and William’s opinion about presentation is the way in which various forms of information is set out and appears before the audience for which it is intended and according to Mitchell representation is one thing stands for one other thing.
In representation’s case, what are things that can be represented? What represent what? The questions have answered by Mitchell’s point of view, the common forms of representation is always of something or someone, by something or someone, to someone. He assume representation cannot exist without a person, we can always represent anything or anyone by anything or anyone but we can only represent that to people.
However, Mitchell also said that the represented object may even disappear when the medium turn itself back on its own codes, engaging in self-reflexive play. Therefore the differences between presentation and representation are in the object. The object in representation are disappears because somehow the thing which is represented is something that invisible, unpicturable, even unspeakable (God, the soul, the author’s intention). Then, the thing representing is not physically but the concept or image of the object.
When something or someone is represented by something or someone, and that something or someone is absence, people accept. However, by what mechanism that something or someone can represent other thing legitimate? There are some opinions about this matter. Mitchell assume that when something stands for something to somebody, it does so by virtue of a kind of social agreement which once understood need not be restated on every occasion7. In addition Rehfeld in his book1 also has same opinion as Mitchell that representative need social agreement to represent something. In political representation, Rehfeld argues that in some countries political representatives are elected by groups of voters who live in the same place, whether that location is a province, state, district, of municipality and these feature form a default position derived from the limiting conditions of any plausible theory of legitimate political representation representatives should be accountable to those they represent. However semioticians generally differentiate three types of representational relationship under the names of icon (based on resemblance), symbol (not based on resemblance), and index (explain standing for like physical proximity or connectedness).
Humphyrs, Graham and Michael Williams. 2005. Presenting and Representing Environments. Netherlands : Springer
Mitchell, W.J.T. 1995. “Representation.” Critical Terms for Literary Study. Ed Frank Lentricchia. The University of Chicago Press. pg. 11-21.
Rehfeld, Andrew. 2005. The Concept of Constituency. New York : Cambridge University Press