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Symbolism In Linda Barry's Lost And Found

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What is a writer? Many may picture those with a great love of books and literature, those who can find deeper symbolism and meaning behind stories that others write. However, this mold does not fit everyone. There are those, such as Linda Barry, who don't fit in with their fellow writers but still find success. In her comic Lost and Found, Barry uses her own life as an example to argue that one can find success as a writer despite not fitting in the box or possessing the skills typical of one.
In her comic, Barry uses dialogue to show a separation between herself and other writers, both in the words themselves and how those words are presented visually. For example, when Barry speaks with the woman described as “super dramatically educated,” Barry and the woman discuss books that the two have read and love. Except, Barry has never read these books, and is instead feigning interest in them for the sake of fitting in. Barry explains this in writing at the top of the panel, saying, “Writers talk about all the books they loved when they were children. Classic stories I never read, but I lied about because I was scared it was proof I wasn’t really a writer” (659). The next panel goes further, in which Barry asks the woman if she read a story in Reader’s Digest, which the woman has never heard of before. While Barry does like
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Linda Barry, a highly successful cartoonist and writer, certainly does not fit the description or general perception of a writer. However, despite not fitting in with other writers and having difficulties in high school and college creative writing classes, Barry remains a successful and award-winning author and cartoonist. Like Barry, an individual seeking a writing career need not be typical. All one has to do is find their place, their skills, their niche. Once someone has found what they can do and how they can write, they may too find success outside the
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