Essay on Palestine by Joe Sacco; a Book Review

1971 Words Sep 7th, 2005 8 Pages
Joe Sacco's graphic novel, Palestine, deals with the repercussions of the first intifada in Israel/Palestine/the Holy Land. The story follows the author through the many refugee camps and towns around Palestine as he tries to gather information, stories, and pictures to construct his graphic novel. While the book is enjoyable at a face level, there are many underlying themes conveyed throughout its illustrated pages and written text.
The most obvious of the themes is that of violence, brutality, and torture. Tied into this also is the idea of injustice. Many of these themes are intertwined. Constantly the reader is berated with violent images, or descriptions of violence. These must be on nearly every second page of the novel. A
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Stories of violence and brutality sell in the West. Many of the images that support this theme one does not notice initially. Many times Joe is shown taking pictures of violence, but he does not seem to entirely react, Saleh when he is present is shown with his camera ready, waiting for some form of violence to ensue. There is an excellent picture of Saburo on page 54; his camera lens seems huge, almost like a telescope. At another point, Sacco is talking to another Journalist, Saleh Saleh says he is tired of his current position because all of the violence of the intifada is gradually slowing, and that there are "no good pictures anymore". He makes reference to the fact that all the pictures of violence are the same. When Sacco arrives at Saleh's office, he meets Saleh's boss. When the boss is asking about the pictures Sacco has taken, he uses the quote, unquote bunny ears gesture around the word violence. At the end of this section, Sacco's pictures are not bought because the faces of the people involved cannot be seen. The man tells him that "the idea was good". Representations of this theme are a bit more hidden then the other themes in the book. However, if one looks hard enough, one can again find examples from cover to closing .
There are many other themes represented in this novel that one could delve into, however, due to word count

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