Analysis Of The Red Tree By Shaun Tan

Superior Essays
The Red Tree (Shaun Tan, 2001) is a children’s picture book that is both written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. The Red Tree is a book about depression, despair and ultimately, hope. The book follows a girl struggling with depression who, at the end of the book, finds hope in the form of a red tree. For a picture book to be successful, both the illustrations and written text generally can exist independently, but complement each other. There is a strong marriage between the written and visual language in Tan’s book that creates a harmonious connection to powerfully and effectively represent depression.
The illustrations in The Red Tree are the most important element of the book; Tan effectively represents depression by using colour, strong imagery and the significance of a red leaf which appears somewhere on each page. The red leaf symbolises hope. In the case of depression, there is always hope for a better circumstance, but the girl doesn’t think so. The narrative states, “Sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to,” and on the next page, “Things go from bad to worse.” (Appendix 1) In the illustration for that page, the room is full of brown leaves, with a red leaf framed above
…show more content…
Some colours are known to be associated with certain feelings and the colours blue and grey are used extensively throughout the picture book. These colours are known to be identified with depression and sadness. The meanings of Tan’s illustrations are reinforced through the use of colour. Shaun Tan stated on his website, “The Red Tree 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.” (www.shauntan.net) Tan has purposely left the written text relatively sparse so the audience can draw their own conclusions about the meaning of the book through the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Color frequently appears throughout Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, giving the characters comfort, joy, and satisfaction. Scenes filled with hope, despair, love, and other powerful emotions are associated with the color red. Yet, the color red represents something more significant and painful than other colors. As the characters of Beloved continually illustrate their painful memories and face the present, red represents their emotions, hopes, and loves. The color red reflects the sufferings of the characters and connects them to their damaging past.…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Distinctively images shape individual’s experiences in society through the use of dramatic techniques and language to achieve a new perspective. The shoe horn sonata written by John Misto is a play about Australian nurses and civilians during the brutality of World War 2 and fictional characters Bridie and Sheila. The red tree written by Shaun Tan is a picture book about a lonely red-headed girl; a red leaf from a red tree follows the girl through her day. It illustrates how she feels and shows her depression. Misto created distinctively images, Bridie and Sheila are juxtaposed characters, Bridie is Australian and laid-back, while Sheila is British and posh, however, they shared the same experience in the camp, as Bridie says, “Never kiss a…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She may be diagnosed with slight hysteria, and nervous depression, but her diagnosis is exactly what creates the best narrator for Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”. The unreliable first person point of view is told through journal entries of a slightly hysterical woman undergoing treatment. She is both the protagonist, and the narrator. Thus allowing the woman to share her view of events, as well as sharing her thoughts throughout the story. Charlotte Gilman chose unreliable first person point of view for the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” because it is the best choice to truly explain what the protagonist saw and felt.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Imagery Kingsolver's lyricism transforms the entire novel with her use of imagery. She appeals the reader by creating scenarios where she applies to the five senses. Doing so, writing about the scenes and characters helps to add to the novel. The imagery that she uses in her prose are as picturesque as the imagery found in poetry which makes use of figurative language to produce a lyrical and colorful novel. A simile, a comparison using like or as, within the novel would be, “She didn’t miss the books so much as she was hurt by the ugly empty spaces left behind, like missing teeth.” (32).…

    • 631 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While these two stories share a common theme, the mood is entirely different. In the novel “Making Sarah cry” is sad. While in “Susan B Anthony Dares To Vote” the mood is uplifting Even though the stories share a common theme they have completely different moods. In “Susan B Anthony Dares To Vote” the mood is uplifting because she is standing up for women to fight for the right to vote and to have equal rights. In “Making Sarah Cry” the mood is sad because Sarah I always being made fun of and crying and nobody is…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    From the very first pages of the novel, Hester manifests herself as a vivid and complex personality, revealed at that time when the heroine ,deliberately concealing her sin, trims the embroidery. Here the rich red colour is symbolic, which is constant and evident on the pages of the novel. Boston townsfolk see this colour as an omen of suffering of the sinned woman, and believe that the mark is forged in the furnace of hell. For Hester, the colour red represents not only pain but also passionate love. From the beginning ,Hester secretly opposes Puritan society but despite the apparent discrepancy between the spiritual and the internal rebellion, the musty philistine society wins.…

    • 1700 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This may be a stretch but in this particular clip provided Amelie wears a dark red when she is fabricating Collignon’s insanity or the fake letter and she where’s bright red as she reads the reading the real letters. When Amelie wears red it appears to be in the presence of true love. Another explanation for the darker red could be her passion for improving people’s lives. This is assuming that you interpret the sabotage of Mr. Collignon’s apartment as a way of making Lucien’s life…

    • 1313 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In The Scarlet Letter, the significance of their names adds to the melancholy of the plot. The chosen names help the reader connect to the hidden personalities the Puritan society can not see. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, the significance of the names is important to the reason behind each event within the plot. The definition of dim is not to have as much light, be unclear or weak. The minister’s life starts to breakdown when he starts to “gasp for breath, and clutch at his heart” (Hawthorne p. 174).…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When problems occur in a relationship, it is harder to maintain the love rather than in a friendship. In the poem “Love and Friendship,” by Emily Bronte, friendship is more worthwhile because it can survive many different problems while love will start to die when problems start to happen as seen through similes, rhymes, all of the imagery throughout the poem, and the theme. The poem “Love and Friendship” starts out with a simile comparing…

    • 1568 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This type of dialog is what makes the read inadequate, and of lesser effectiveness; due to the over usage of a cliché romance as the central theme, throughout literature. On the other hand, the theme of A Sorrowful Woman has an opposing meaning, and is of a greater impact in terms of the central message being given. The message being that love does not simply conquer all, and fix one’s problems; it can destroy. For example in the beginning of the story the narrator states “One winter evening she looked at them: the husband durable, receptive, gentle; the child a tender golder three. The sight of them made her so sad and sick she did not want to see them ever again” (Godwin 38).…

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays