How to Write a Visual Analysis Essay to Comic Essay “In As the World Burns”?

In "As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial," authors Derrick Jenson and Stephanie McMillan craft a thought-provoking comic essay aimed at capturing the attention of a younger audience regarding pressing environmental issues. Originally published in 2007, the essay revolves around a dialogue between two young girls, engaging readers in a discussion on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the impact on the planet. However, the authors argue that minor lifestyle changes alone will not suffice in addressing the looming environmental crisis.

The narrative evolves as various species of animals and a native person join the conversation, advocating for a collective shift towards sustainable practices. The underlying themes of big business, industrialism, over-population, and the pitfalls of a modern technological society are prominently portrayed as root causes of environmental degradation.

The utilization of a comic style proves to be an effective choice by the authors, catering to their target audience of young readers. The banter between the two girls, one embodying idealism and the other intellect, serves as a vehicle to convey the urgency of environmental issues.

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Through their dialogue, the authors highlight the interconnectedness of societal disparities and environmental degradation, creating a sense of responsibility among readers. For instance, one of the girls remarks, "And the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. And it all keeps killing the planet," encapsulating the essence of the environmental crisis in a relatable manner.

While the comic approach may resonate with some readers, others may find it oversimplified or politically charged.

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Jensen and McMillan's use of anthropomorphic animals and subtle political commentary throughout the narrative may polarize opinions. The cow's statement, "And recognize your real enemies: production, the system that requires, the people in power who keep it running," underscores the authors' critique of systemic issues contributing to environmental degradation.

Incorporating representations of native peoples and pleading animals adds depth to the narrative, evoking emotional responses from readers. The introduction of various animal species advocating for environmental stewardship, alongside the plea from a native person to restore the land to its original state, underscores the interconnectedness between humans and nature. The emotional appeals made by these characters, such as the heron's call to "Fight with all your heart" and the toad's grim warning of "It may even be too late," serve to intensify the urgency of taking action.

The authors further reinforce their message through repetition and emotional appeals, leveraging the voices of children and sentient beings to convey the gravity of the environmental crisis. By emphasizing the necessity of collective action and sacrifice, the authors instill a sense of responsibility in readers. The girls' apprehension about giving up certain comforts in exchange for environmental preservation, as expressed through statements like "We don’t know how to live without these things" and "We'll die without them," prompts introspection and self-reflection among readers.

Jenson and McMillan adeptly deliver their environmental message through a blend of comic elements, emotional appeals, and repetitive motifs. The essay's underlying critique of governmental and societal structures resonates with readers, urging them to reevaluate their individual and collective impact on the environment. The tone of the essay oscillates between emotional urgency and authoritative conviction, compelling readers to consider the consequences of inaction. By weaving together the narratives of children, animals, and indigenous perspectives, the authors create a compelling call to action for environmental stewardship.

At its core, "As the World Burns" conveys a message of hope and collective responsibility, emphasizing the potential for positive change through collaboration with nature. The authors succeed in imparting a sense of urgency regarding the need to address environmental challenges promptly. By fostering a dialogue that transcends generational boundaries, Jenson and McMillan's essay serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness between human actions and environmental consequences.

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Updated: Feb 15, 2024
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How to Write a Visual Analysis Essay to Comic Essay “In As the World Burns”?. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from

How to Write a Visual Analysis Essay to Comic Essay “In As the World Burns”? essay
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