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Annotations of 'stick figures' by Shaun Tan

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Kelli Beer

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of Annotations of 'stick figures' by Shaun Tan

Annotations and Analysis
"stick figures"

Written by Shaun Tan TEXT
FEATURES The story starts with lower case letters
"if they" - what does this
suggest to the reader?
Is it to indicate to the reader a
suggestion of unimportance or a
casualness? No introduction to who
"they" are. What effect does
this have on the reader? Is it
intrigue, so that it piques the
readers interest and they
continue to read? Is it to
introduce and demonstrate the
theme of the story; i.e. the stick
figures are always there but are
of no importance. The title is written in
bold to state that it is
the title of this story but
is written in lower case
letters. Once again - what is inferred
by the lack of capitals? A short,
casual story? That the "stick
figures" are not important? The
Oxford Dictionary states that
capital letters are not used in an
informal piece of writing. Visual
Representation The colour of this photo
gives the reader an
impression that it has been
taken in the 1980's. Which links to the text - "They
have always been here". The visual separates the text
into two sections. The first section
describes the "stick figures" features
and the impact which they have on
the community.
The second section describes how
people respond and what they do
to them. The visual is displayed as if it
were a photo in a photo album.
The text tells the story of this
photo. Language This story is written in present
tense. Interesting contrast in
context by comparing the
"stick figures" as similar
to a piece of cardboard
and a dead cat. This picture demonstrates
the "suburban landscape". The highlighted words are examples
of present continuous verbs. Example of a
descriptive adjective Example of an adverb. The visual on this page is bigger
than the text so it draws the reader
to examine the picture prior to
reading the text. The visual is displayed in a similar
fashion to a 1980's styled photo.
The colour is sepia - no brightness.
What is message the author is
trying to put across? Suburban landscape - not colourful,
bright or happy. Symbolism? Plain, dull,
drab existence? Or simply how the author
imagines a suburban landscape?
What is the suburbia like that you
recognise? The text is descriptive
but does not describe
the photo. Look at the photo.....
What are your initial
impressions about what
the text may be about?
Now read the text......... Text is written in present
tense. The reading of the text describes
the character of the 'stick figures'
and what happens to them. The
picture sets the scene of the landscape
but does not deliver the story. Look at the picture: is the stick figure
going for a casual stroll? Read the text:
have your thoughts changed? Is it
perhaps hiding or blending in with
the shadows? The highlighted words
demonstrate the descriptiveness
of this piece of writing. It is an example
of the use of an evaluative vocabulary
because it establishes the mood of the
narrative and readers can respond and
make personal and/or ethical judgements
regarding the characters involved. Here, the stick figures
are depicted as shadows. What
is the significance of this symbolism?
They are always there in the shadows?
The stick figures have been beaten and the
shadows represent what they once were?
Shadows = no longer real, a memory, spirit,
shade of one's self? The visual linked to the text is a
picture of a shady, desolate, car park,
stereotypical of where beatings
often occur. "MORE" what? There are
always more stick figures
to beat and bash? There
are always more questions
than answers? The stick
figures bring out more than
one emotion in the people
living in this suburban
landscape? The question and exclamation marks
emphasise the frustration and anger
which the "boys" are feeling in this scene. Once again, the text is not visually
represented in the picture. By
looking at the picture, the reader
can not predict the text. e.g. by
looking at this picture it could be
fair to say that the stick figures are
crowding in and ready to fight -
similar to a gun fighters stance in a
Western movie. Once the text has
been read, the reader realises that
the opposite has occurred and it is
actually the stick figures who are
the victims in this still. This visual, although it still uses sepia
coloured tones, has more colour in it
compared to other visuals in the story. This picture gives the stick figures more of a human feel to their existence. They appear to be holding hands as they look over the suburban landscape where they live. Yet, they are still depicted as outsiders standing on the outskirts of the town. The sun is setting/rising and the suburban landscape is bright and colourful but the stick figures are in the dark shadows. The last page of this text is actually
representative of the visual. The
text describes the stick figures
reflecting on the previous questions
which had been asked and throwing
those questions back on the inhabitants
of this suburban community. The reflection
of the stick figures can clearly be
imagined in this visual and linked in with
the text below. This story does not conclude with an answer
but leaves the reader with questions. The last
paragraph is reflective and contains questions and
a"search for answers". The emotional and
aggressive language of the previous page has
disappeared due to this questioning. Question
Non-conclusive answer
Question As with the characters in this story
the reader is no more knowledgeable
as to the purpose or existence of the
stick figures - which gives the reader an
insight into the thoughts of the human
characters in this story. Thanks for watching :0)
This Prezi has been created
by Kelli Beer.
The annotations are original
Kelli thoughts after reading
and analysing Shaun Tan's
'stick figures' story. This story
was produced in his book
'tales from Outer Suburbia'.
Music: 'Alien' by My Favorite
Full transcript