The Rabbits by Shaun Tan

Topics: John Marsden, Emotion, Meaning of life Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: November 20, 2012
Why do you think John Marsden and Shaun Tan chose this image, over all the others for the cover of The Rabbits?

The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan is a perspicacious insight into the colonization of Australia from the perspective of the colonized. The appropriated image of Captain Cook’s arrival in 1770 was an inquisitively chosen illustration as it provoked a provocative response from the viewer making it glaringly obvious as to why Tan chose this as the front cover. Through decisive judgement it is clear that the appropriation is a “direct embodiment of the central concerns of the story” with intertwining layers of emotion through the use of the rabbits, numbats and cloud cover.

The rabbits are perhaps the most indistinct figures in the entire illustration, a deliberate act by Tan as it provides a deeper insight into the perception of the rabbits by the numbats. This effect is also provided through a series of key techniques, to ensure that the deeper meaning engrained within the rabbits is laid out unto the audience. The most exclusive technique is the use of low modality; it dramatically enhances the understanding of which we gain of the rabbits. The low modality demonstrates to the audience the viewpoint, of which the numbats would have seen the rabbits, as foreign creatures artificial in appearance. The illustration quickly outlines this fact, as they pose few similarities to a normal rabbit, only be known to the audience as rabbits, due to the title of the picture book. Another essential technique which Tan has incorporated is the layout of the rabbit’s, structured with a purposeful stance it is evident to the audience immediately that the rabbits are there for a specific reason although it is still unknown to the numbats of what this is. These two vital techniques lead to an array of others however suffice to say they promptly establish the underlying reasoning as to why Tan chose this image over all others; for both the intuitive...
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