The Island- by Armin Greder

Topics: Ocean, Raft, Following Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: October 26, 2010
Armin Greder’s The Island is a picture book that explores the negative concepts of ‘belonging’ through instances of alienation and judgement. The text presents symbols and metaphors that can be applied to universal social issues, particularly the migrant experience. Although the tone of the text is ultimately pessimistic, there are suggestions of Christian ideals such as sharing, caring for the less fortunate and having a clear conscious. The text also not only discusses an outsider’s perspective of not belonging, but also the negative aspects of belonging to a group or community. The page following the book’s title depicts a scene at sea. The whole image is washed with a dark blue from the sky to the ocean, and the crashing waves convey a menacing journey has taken place. At the bottom of the page, if one looks closely, it is evident that the bottom of the wooden raft has been drawn but blends into the rest of the image. This inclusion of the raft changes the perspective of the image as the responder is now been positioned as if they were looking out from the raft, the place of the Man. An immediate bond has now been formed between the responder and the man, and for the rest of the text we continue to sympathise with him. The angry mob of Islanders drawn on the following pages when the Man arrives, are incredibly threatening as they are large, dark and armed. Not only is their physical presence intimidating, but their attitudes towards the unassuming Man are prejudiced and hostile. They say things like “I’m sure he wouldn’t like it here, so far away from his own kind,” to excuse themselves from responsibility and basic human compassion. Only one member of the mob, the Fisherman, presents a (merely) positive proposal by stating, “If we send him back, it will be the death of him and I don’t want that on my conscious”. Following this, the Islanders take the Man in under the lowest conditions. Throughout the book the Man never assimilates into the Island’s society...
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