The Red Tree

The red tree
By Blake Farrow.
Miss Bailey’s class.

The ‘Red Tree’ is an award winning picture book. Written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. The story is told with simple sentences, but the dominant illustrations are complex and dark, they reveal more of the topic of ‘belonging’. Then the words do.
The definition of belonging is to be a part of a family or group, and to fit in, the opposite of belonging is to not belong which is exclusion and alienation.
The cover of this book presents the author ‘Shaun Tan’ and the title ‘The Red Tree’. This is an ambiguous picture. The motif in the book is on the front of the cover which is a red leaf; the cover of the book brings a feeling of loneliness, or “not belonging” so this idea is bought into the book starting at the front cover. The girl is on a lake in what seems to be a paper hat. She is looking down at the red leaf.   She seems to be floating aimlessly, away from people, away from anything. Giving more of a feeling of not belonging.
The girl in this picture book is characterised, which is developed through her words for each picture, they are narrated by the girl in the book; she appears throughout out the book to be conserved, depressed, bored and alone. Her personality seems to be quiet and distant.
There are two dominant images before the book actually starts; I think it is trying to strongly reinforce the idea of not belonging, and trying to belong. The first picture in the book is of the only character in the book which is a red headed girl, with pale gray skin. She is holding a horn which has words flowing out of it onto the next picture. She is in a dark field, in the background there are gold coloured fields and soft looking mountains. Whereas I think the picture on the back of the first picture is a contrasting picture of where she wants to be just not physically but mentally. It seems to be in the gold fields with an odd looking grandfather clock that has the motif of the book included in the clock. It...