The Rabbits essay by John Marsden and Shaun Tan

Topics: John Marsden, Indigenous peoples, Shaun Tan Pages: 2 (946 words) Published: March 5, 2015
 “The Rabbits” is a picture book written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan. With the use of visual and language techniques Marsden and Tan depict and help develop our understanding about wider issues within the community. Marsden and Tan skilfully display more sophisticated issues that are not so commonly aimed at children such as conflict, industrialisation and loss of culture which are all an adverse effect of colonisation. “The Rabbits” is an allegory that represents the destructive path of the European colonisation on the Indigenous people and their environment. It expresses the chilling story of the invasion and destruction, and the devastating effects that came along with it. This picture book is written from the natives’ point of view where they are portrayed as numbats and the invaders are depicted as rabbits. The use of rabbits is also significant as rabbits were introduces in Australia in 1859 with the white European settlers; reinforcing the infestation imagery that colonising creates. The picture book which would usually be targeted at children has many underlying important issues that evoke emotion and empathy within the responder. Opening 5 of “The Rabbits” strongly depicts the important issues of industrialisation and loss of culture due to colonisation, affecting not only the people but also the land. The salient image in this opening is the huge, golden framed portrait in the centre of the opening drawing the responder to the centre of the page. The portrait conveying the rabbits’ master plan and future for the numbats land. The image glowing of gold’s sets a picturesque and perfect scene, also suggesting the power, wealth and royalty of the rabbits. This ‘master plan’ by the rabbits highlights the industrialisation and complete takeover, this evoking emotion and empathy towards the numbats in the responder as it signifies the control and destruction of their land, the loss of tradition and change of culture. The motif of the red...
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