Graphic novel essay questions

How to teach ... graphic novels

For example, in Vietnam Manhattan could have stopped Blake's bullet, turned the bottle "into snowflakes," or saved the pregnant woman's life in some way. Instead, he just says "no! Did he really want to?

Watchmen by Alan Moore - Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

Did he have an obligation to? Personally I search throughout the books to find something with more than enough substance to write an essay.

Watchmen essay topics?

I feel like Ozymandias, Doc, or Rorschach would be the ones with enough substance. Rorschach I feel would be too easy a lot of his stuff is pretty straight forward. The world made him this way and the fact of the matter is, is that people choose to make these choices yet in the face of punishment they breakdown.

Yet students have grave difficulties getting past the obvious points that Tosha has two horrifying options infanticide and suicide vs. As teachers we may need to resist the urge to presume this knowledge of other texts and contexts that lead to a nuanced analysis. My students and I and dare I say any other readers? Maus is surely not an isolated example, and it is almost chatty compared to Persepolis or Stitches.

During this full-page sequence of panels, the two are alone in his cell—and Marjane says not a word Of course, this silence is an intentional effect, and an interview with David Small suggests a crucial distinction about visual and verbal communication. To be direct, what can we ask students about what Marjane and David are thinking in the sequences mentioned above?

Toward the end of the book, Bechdel becomes increasingly aware that these silences are not just awkward but damaging, and she resolves to speak out. A crucial exchange appears on pages see Image 2. In a panel near the top of the page , Alison is lying on the couch as her father approaches and asks her to help polish some silver. While in the kitchen they have yet another failed dialogue about the movie Cruising , and the scene could easily be read as a pair of missed chances—the chance for Alison to speak, and the chance for readers to know more of what Alison is really thinking.

Also, while memoirs rely heavily on voices, the voices of Vladek Spiegelman, Taji Satrapi, the Small family, and Bruce Bechdel are generally terse and understated. Neither of these terms is really adequate here. These brief allusions are often paired with lengthy and direct quotations from writers such Proust, Fitzgerald, Wilde, Joyce, and so many others, which in turn may be contrasted with both images and text from movies, letters, album covers, news headlines, dictionary entries, and her own somewhat neurotic diary.

The effect of these methods is that they allow for a much more substantial discussion of an ethical issue. To be honest, my description of the previous dialogue was intentionally incomplete.

Go Set a Watchman

Before the conversation starts, Bechdel adds a key reference. Jill sits across from me saying there is not enough opportunity for heroism over here. I am late coming into this mean old bar full of Americans. Too early for a martini but I have one anyway. Jill is eating a sandwich. Heroism is suspect, I say. She frankly wants to be heroic. I do sometimes. Not now. Now it just seems deluded. Because she has said it out loud.

The photograph is of a young man named Roy who had often done both child-care and landscaping for the family. Yet the underlying question is surely a resonant one: why would her father have taken—and kept—a photograph of Roy lying almost naked on a hotel bed? What was the father trying to reveal or conceal?

The answers are neither immediate nor conclusive. Instead, the text boxes are arranged almost chaotically, both forcing and allowing a reader to create some sort of logical sequence—or a variety of sequences.

In academic terms, the students now have more than compelling visual imagery—they also have complex verbal contexts for the sort of investigation that one would hope they will engage in as they take Introduction to Literature. Whether the scenes from Bechdel rely on relatively straight-forward bits of narration or on more intertextual references, the students have a much fuller opportunity to write and to analyze, while also reading a very bold, timely and innovative text!

Grading rubric

Perhaps I have wound up arguing that graphic novels are best at confronting ethical quandaries when they rely upon seemingly traditional fictional techniques such as dialogue and narration. If that does wind up to be the case, then that might prove to be unhelpful, since there are not many graphic novelists who use the densely allusive verbal references and echoes of Fun Home.

What can one say about moments? What then might teachers keep in mind as we ask students to write about situations that demand a consideration of ethical issues while also denying readers many of the narrative techniques such as dialogue, omniscient narration, interior monologue, allusion, etc… that they may expect to find? If readers, especially those who may be still learning the basics of college-level academic discourse, must rely instead on a great deal of inference based on non-verbal cues, then what are some possible compromises that arise, and how might teachers work through these compromises?

Yet in discussions among fans and scholars of graphic novels, there remain nagging doubts, and students surely are not shy about sharing their own suspicions. The students are also quick to note a section of the article in which a graduate student named David Namie expresses the reservations that he and some of his students had.

Graphic Novels in the Classroom: A Teacher Roundtable

As Correia explains:. I am not trying to shame Namie or my students here—I have been fumbling around with my own phrasing for awhile as well. See Drucker, Graphesis for broader contexts. Aldama, Frederick Luis, ed. U of Texas P, Almond, Steve. Amicucci, Ann. Boatright, Michael D. Chute, Hillary. Program in Narrative Medicine. Columbia University Medical Center. Maus is written in the rather unconventional form of a graphic novel. Is this format an effective means of telling a Holocaust narrative? How might it differ from a more conventional Holocaust narrative?

To what degree was Vladek's survival based on luck, and to what degree was his survival based on his considerable resourcefulness? To what extent are Vladek's aggravating personality traits a product of his experiences during the Holocaust?

How do you say your name?

Our papers and essays on Graphic novel should be the best writing help for you!. Guidelines for writing an essay are below. If you have particular questions, please ask, of course. Paper #2. Length: 3 pages. Due: 2 Oct. For Paper #2 , select a single page from one of the graphic novels we have read.

Discuss Art's portrayal of his father. Is it a fair portrayal?

Explore a Comic That Is Also Pulitzer-Winning Visual Journalism

What feelings does Art have about this portrayal? Throughout Maus , Art is consumed with guilt. Discuss these different forms of guilt. How do they relate to one another? How do they differ? The second chapter of Book II of Maus begins with a third level of narrative, which takes place in , nine years after Art began working on Maus and five years after the death of his father.