Essay The Arrival

981 WordsDec 7, 20124 Pages
English Speech The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a graphic novel which follows the story of a man who embarks on the journey of migration. The notions of belonging that are highlighted in the text are belonging to a place and belonging to a family. The composer establishes these through the masterful employment of various visual techniques. One of the foremost themes of the novel is the concept of belonging to a place, in particular the connection to a homeland. A disturbance in the main environment signifies as the stimulating factor for the disruption of the man’s sense of belonging. There exists an fragmented sense of existence in the old land, something that is established primarily by the ominous, malicious serpent like figures that…show more content…
Tan is thus able to illustrate to his audience, a true appreciation of belonging to a place and its connotations. In addition to this, belonging to a family is a key concept in this novel. The novel opens with an alluring introduction to the family; a blissful atmosphere is created through the picturesque icons of their family life. The composer uses small photograph like icons to allude towards the widely acknowledged contentment that is readily associated with the memories in a picture album. Tan introduces the motif of the paper crane which he carries through the length of his novel as a symbol of affection and belonging between the family members. The next pages signify the break in contentment as the man begins his journey and a salient image of the couple with their hands grasping the other’s parallels the anxiety and despair in their downcast facial expressions. Although the gloomy atmosphere, the light sepia tones in the picture allow an insight into the tender and loving relationship that the family members share. Upon the man’s departure the paper crane motif returns and he hands it to his daughter as a token of his undying love for her. His migratory experience is studded by the comfort and ease that he obtains from a picture of his family. In paralleled scenes on the boat and the new apartment, the

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