Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel following a man who immigrates to a strange and new land.  Detailed sepia illustrations throughout help the reader follow along just like any other graphic novel. Below are the discussion questions:

1.  Did you find yourself reading The Arrival differently than you read other graphic novels due to its wordlessness?

2.  What is the purpose of the textures and colors used throughout the graphic novel?

3.  Each other person that The Immigrant speaks with seems to have a tragic past.  Does this imply that everyone has baggage or that this new world is some sort of peaceful utopia?  Is the new world just as vulnerable to terrifying giant vacuum monsters and tentacles?

4.  Do you find the new world's style reminiscent of any other culture or art style?

5.  What is the purpose of the two pages of multiple small square panels of clouds?  This technique has showed up in a few other graphic novels we've read, what's the deal?
6.  Why did Shaun Tan write The Arrival?  Why is it wordless?

7.  Mr. Tan has described himself as a "translator" of ideas.  Does this knowledge put The Arrival in a different light for you?

8.  What were the tentacle-things that drove The Immigrant away from home?  Were they symbolic or literal?

9.  Shaun Tan is usually a picture book author/illustrator.  What differentiates this from a picture book as a graphic novel?

10.  What was your favorite illustration in The Arrival?

11.  Did The Arrival harken back to any picture books you read when you were a child?