What Is The Theme Of The Arrival By Shaun Tan

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“The Arrival,” by Shaun Tan, is a wordless novel that depicts the experience immigrants go through when vacating their home countries to start new in a different country. Readers can see that on the first page there is a collage of headshots from multiple people of different ethnicity and religion. The first image page of the wordless novel helps viewers get a clearer image of what the novel is about. In “The Arrival,” Shaun Tan depicts the hardships and enjoyment that immigrants experience when moving to a new country, since the piece was written in 2006, there seems to be more hardships than enjoyment when coming to the United States, which means the idea of the United States being a melting pot is flawed. Chapter one shows a businessman…show more content…
Immigrants have the continuous struggle of trying to adapt to a country's language and customs. Tan portrays this struggle throughout the wordless novel; the businessman tries to communicate with other people using symbols and drawings in a sketch pad. Another scene that displays the language barrier struggle immigrants go through was when he first arrived. He was being asked questions in a language he didn’t know and was randomly examined by a doctor; this scene reminds viewers of immigrants landing in Ellis Island for the first time and being examined for potential illnesses. When immigrants move to a different country they need to be careful about what they write or say, anything can be taken out of context based on a country’s history. Post September 11, 2001, after the Trade Center incident that Americans would never forget there was a target placed on any civilian who showed Muslim culture customs, such as clothing or headwear. Events and headlines in the news contradict the ideology portrayed in Tan’s wordless novel; however the story starts to take a sudden…show more content…
They appear to be vacuuming people, and the look of fear on the civilian’s faces makes it apparent that their life is in danger, as they run for their lives away from these men trying to capture them. Tan uses symbolisms in this illustration by displaying situations; people are trying to flee and escape from in their home country. These men that are in the illustration can represent political corruption or chemical bombs that went off. Political corruption comes to mind when you see the vacuum cleaners they are using, when you think of politics, you think of people trying to convince you to follow their campaign. However, in some other countries communism forces you to follow their commands or else, which is why these men are vacuuming up civilians. War comes to mind when you see the hazmat suits, war always plays a role in immigration and reasons why people move. During the time of World War II people were fleeing countries overseas like Japan, because of chemical bombs and nuclear bomb

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