The main way in which a Graphic Novel is a ‘considerate text’ (helping its reader read) is through its help in making inferences. “ Making an inference is also known as reading between the lines. The reader must put together the information the author provides and the information that the reader already knows to come up with the answer. ” www.kimskorner4teachertalk.com/readingliterature/readingstrategies/inferences.htm Graphic Novel As A Considerate Text
When reading a traditional text, it can sometimes be difficult to make inferences about meanings of words or what is supposedly being said between the lines.
But with a graphic, it’s a different story. <ul><li>Take for instance this picture, what can you infer from it? What was its artist trying to say? </li></ul>
It’s like the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
So with Graphic Novels, making inferences becomes easier. <ul><li>The coupling of text with graphics becomes a tool for understanding. The graphics help fill the space between the lines. </li></ul>
Lets see this in action <ul><li>First, take this sentence and see what we can infer: </li></ul><ul><li>“ But Prince Prospero was dauntless and sagacious .” </li></ul><ul><li>(Graphic Classics Edgar Allen Poe, Masque of the Red Death) </li></ul><ul><li>To a reader this sentence could be very problematic. The words dauntless and sagacious may not be in their vocabulary. But coupled with a Graphic, the student might be able to infer what they mean. </li></ul>
From this picture and the appearance of the man, a reader might be able to infer that dauntless and sagacious means standing strong and fearless as well as being intelligent. Of course these aren’t the exact definitions, but for the purposes of reading, it would be close enough.
Lets look at another example. <ul><li>Here is the sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a parting gift, the Dragon King gave the Great Sage a magic cudgel that could grow and shrink with the slightest thought.” </li></ul><ul><li>(American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang) </li></ul>
Here, the word cudgel c ould be problematic. But when it is put together with this picture, a reader can plainly see that a cudgel is a sort of staff or rod. With later pictures throughout the novel, students might also come to realize that it is a weapon.
Graphic novels do not only help with inferring word definitions, they can also help with inferring content. <ul><li>What I mean by this is that sometimes there can be little nuances that the graphics help to define. Take for instance this next set of pictures. </li></ul>
There is definitely a lot being said here through little nuances or the characters’ body language.
Another element that graphics add to text is retention. Along with being able to infer meaning from words and understanding nuances, a reader may find it easier to retain the knowledge and meaning because of the visual stimuli. Not just single words, but potentially the whole story may be retained better.
For instance, <ul><li>I am sure that without much effort, you remember what a cudgel is. Even with the mention of the word, the picture of the monkey holding the cudgel springs back to memory. </li></ul>
It is the same for the readers. <ul><li>Any time the word cudgel is presented before them, this picture will come to mind. </li></ul>
In conclusion, there is a lot to be said about a Graphic Novel being a considerate text. <ul><li>It is surprising to see what can happen when a graphic is added to a bit of text. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It is this coupling of graphics and the written word that allow graphic novels to be such a great “considerate text.” </li></ul>Inferring Retention Nuances
<ul><li>http: //mentalmodels . mitre . org/Hyperlinks/The_Project_Thesis .htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. istockphoto . com/file_closeup/ ?id=1963587& refnum=647668 </li></ul><ul><li>http: //newyorkette .com/?p=501 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/evanleavittphotography/2811944253/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://chris.lastlemmingstudios.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. refreshingcontent .com/index_files/page9_blog_entry39_1.gif </li></ul>The scans in this PowerPoint came from the following Graphic Novels. Graphic Classics, Edgar Allen Poe , Masque of the Red Death , Adapted by Stanly W. Shaw American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang Pictures were obtained from the following websites. Listed in order of appearance. Citation