Visual Analysis Of A Graphic Novel Notre Dame/Freshman Composition Essay

1227 words - 5 pages


Trista​ ​Woelfle 
Jennifer​ ​Sullivan 
Freshman​ ​Composition  
The​ ​Censorship​ ​of​ ​Roy 
Alison​ ​Bechdel​ ​has​ ​used​ ​many​ ​structural​ ​and​ ​stylistic​ ​features​ ​to 
captivate​ ​her​ ​readers.The​ ​specific​ ​features​ ​used​ ​to​ ​do​ ​so​ ​are​ ​use​ ​of​ ​blacks​ ​and 
whites,​ ​narration,​ ​and​ ​camera​ ​angle.​ ​All​ ​of​ ​which​ ​help​ ​closely​ ​analyze​ ​the 
deeper​ ​meaning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​text.This​ ​essay​ ​will​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​single​ ​panel​ ​on​ ​page 
100​ ​and​ ​101​ ​and​ ​will​ ​explore​ ​Bechdel’s​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​stylistic​ ​and​ ​structural 
features​ ​and​ ​how​ ​they​ ​convey​ ​a​ ​clear​ ​overall​ ​meaning. 
Black​ ​and​ ​whites​ ​help​ ​with​ ​the​ ​overall​ ​contrast​ ​of​ ​an​ ​image.​ ​They​ ​can 
make​ ​an​ ​image​ ​vivid​ ​or​ ​opaque.​ ​This​ ​particular​ ​panel​ ​is​ ​more​ ​opaque. 
Bechdel’s​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​contrast​ ​creates​ ​the​ ​effect​ ​that​ ​the​ ​image​ ​is​ ​blurry,​ ​out​ ​of 
focus,​ ​and​ ​or​ ​old.​ ​The​ ​word​ ​blurry​ ​attends​ ​to​ ​Bechdel’s​ ​overall​ ​novel.​ ​Most​ ​of 
the​ ​book​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​blur,​ ​a​ ​mix​ ​up​ ​of​ ​emotions,​ ​and​ ​flatout​ ​confusion​ ​for 
Alison​ ​at​ ​times.​ ​In​ ​this​ ​panel​ ​there​ ​is​ ​an​ ​emphasis​ ​on​ ​the​ ​color​ ​gray.​ ​This 
gives​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​depth​ ​to​ ​the​ ​photograph.​ ​The​ ​closer​ ​gray​ ​is​ ​to​ ​black​ ​​the​ ​more 
dramatic​ ​and​ ​mysterious​ ​it​ ​becomes.​ ​The​ ​photo​ ​has​ ​a​ ​large​ ​amount​ ​of 
charcoal​ ​gray.​ ​From​ ​analyzing​ ​the​ ​color,​ ​it​ ​could​ ​be​ ​inferred​ ​that​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of 
dark​ ​gray​ ​directly​ ​corresponds​ ​with​ ​Roy​ ​himself.​ ​It​ ​wasn’t​ ​until​ ​Bechdel’s 
mother​ ​told​ ​the​ ​truth​ ​about​ ​Roy​ ​that​ ​Alison​ ​discovered​ ​more​ ​of​ ​her​ ​father's 
private​ ​appearance​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​his​ ​public​ ​artifice.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​also​ ​use​ ​of 
shadows​ ​and​ ​minimal​ ​use​ ​of​ ​highlights.​ ​The​ ​bottom​ ​left-hand​ ​corner​ ​is 

where​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​shading​ ​is.​ ​This​ ​detail​ ​accounts​ ​for​ ​the​ ​lighting​ ​in​ ​the 
photograph​ ​while​ ​maintaining​ ​the​ ​lighting​ ​in​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​panel,​ ​making​ ​the 
photograph​ ​seem​ ​more​ ​real​ ​and​ ​three-dimensional.​ ​The​ ​highlights​ ​are 
mostly​ ​on​ ​Roy’s​ ​face,​ ​and​ ​on​ ​the​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bed​ ​closest​ ​to​ ​the​ ​window​ ​which 
again​ ​speaks​ ​to​ ​the​ ​lighting​ ​in​ ​the​ ​picture.​ ​With​ ​how​ ​both​ ​the​ ​highlights​ ​and 
shadows​ ​are​ ​placed,​ ​it​ ​can​ ​be​ ​assumed​ ​that​ ​whomever​ ​was​ ​taking​ ​the​ ​photo 
had​ ​to​ ​be​ ​relatively​ ​close​ ​to​ ​the​ ​subject.​ ​Overall,​ ​Bechdel’s​ ​use​ ​of​ ​blacks​ ​and 
white’s​ ​emphasize​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​photograph.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​not​ ​only​ ​used 
in​ ​an​ ​artistic​ ​fashion​ ​to​ ​show​ ​dimension​ ​but​ ​also​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​to​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the 
emotion​ ​that​ ​Bechdel​ ​herself​ ​was​ ​feeling.​ ​The​ ​choice​ ​delivers​ ​her​ ​opinion 
about​ ​Roy​ ​much​ ​mo...


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