The Red Tree By Shaun Tan Essay

The Red Tree By Shaun Tan Essay-82
This seems appropriate, as everyone’s experience of ‘suffering’ or ‘hope’ is unique and personal.The picture book ‘the red tree’ written and illustrated by Shaun tan, conveys his perspective of the world with the effective use of literary and visual techniques such as symbolism, foreshadowing and the extended visual metaphor of the girl in the bottle on the ‘nobody understands’ page.

This seems appropriate, as everyone’s experience of ‘suffering’ or ‘hope’ is unique and personal.The picture book ‘the red tree’ written and illustrated by Shaun tan, conveys his perspective of the world with the effective use of literary and visual techniques such as symbolism, foreshadowing and the extended visual metaphor of the girl in the bottle on the ‘nobody understands’ page.

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The extended visual metaphor of the girl sitting in the bottle conveys the idea of her feelings trapped inside.

The protagonist is shown sitting in the bottle which connects to the idea of a ‘message in a bottle’.

is a story without any particular narrative; a series of distinct imaginary worlds as self-contained images which invite readers to draw their own meaning in the absence of any written explanation.

As a concept, the book is inspired by the impulse of children and adults alike to describe feelings using metaphor - monsters, storms, sunshine, rainbows and so on.

At the same time, I do enjoy work that is celebratory - which ultimately is - but any apparent meaning is always laced with uncertainty.

The red tree may bloom, but it will also die, so nothing is absolute or definite; there needs to be an accurate reflection of real life, as something that is continuously in search of resolution.It has no sequential narrative, which is something a picture book is ideal for – you can open it at any page, go backwards or forwards, and spend as much time as you wish with each image.I'd also been increasingly aware that illustration is a powerful way of expressing of feeling as well as ideas, partly because it is outside of verbal language, as many emotions can be hard to articulate in words.At the beginning she awakes to find blackened leaves falling from her bedroom ceiling, threatening to quietly overwhelm her.She wanders down a street, overshadowed by a huge fish that floats above her.It is common that ‘messages in a bottle’ are lost and never found.Responders assume that she feels her thoughts and ideas are trapped inside and will not ever be discovered.I thought it would therefore be interesting to produce an illustrated book that is all about feelings, unframed any storyline context, in some sense going ‘directly to the source’.What resulted after many scribbles was a series of imaginary landscapes connected only by a minimal thread of text and the silent figure of a young girl at the center of each one, with whom the reader is invited to identify.Each image remains open to various interpretations in the absence of any accompanying description.What minimal 'story' there is seeks to remind us that just as bad feelings are inevitable, they are always tempered by hope.

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