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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.
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.
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’.
I'm more attracted to those things that aren't quite right, like the social and environmental injustice in The Rabbits, or the social apathy of The Lost Thing, or even ideas about self-destruction in The Viewer.
The Red Tree By Shaun Tan Essay
I find such things artistically engaging, perhaps because they are unresolved, like a puzzle.
began an experimental narrative more than anything else: the idea of a book without a story.
I've always loved Chris Van Allsburg's classic picture book ‘The Mysteries of Harris Burdick’ (1984) which is a great example of word-picture enigmas, exhibiting partial fragments of unknown stories and leaving the reader to use their imagination.
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.