Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say Essay
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Question 1. Describe how the story is structured to influence your response to the text.
Question 2. Describe one of the story’s major settings. How is it constructed and what is its significance to the story and its ideas?
North America is the major setting in this book. North America holds a lot of new technology and everything is new and spectacular to him, the trains, the enormous rock sculptures and an endless farming field are examples of this. There is also a bad side to this place; there are huge cities of factories and tall buildings with thick smoke coming out of each building.
But above all, best place was California, where there were a strong sunlight, the Sierra Mountains and the seacoast. Along the way he had met and shook hands new people, which had different cultural backgrounds to him.
This setting is constructed in a way that the more the grandfather travels the more he liked it and wanted to make the ‘New World’ his home.
This setting shows that the cultural barrier can be broken and people should go out and see the world and meet new people to develop more familiarity of the world they live in.
Question 3. How are you positioned to respond to the major character/s of the story? What values are represented through them?
Question 4. Describe the extent to which language and graphics are successfully used together to shape your response. Discuss with close reference to at lease two examples.
In the Grandfather’s Journey, there are a few pages where the graphics and the text connect together to give the reader a better understanding of situation.
At the beginning (on page 4) the text was ‘My grandfather was a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world”. On this page it shows the grandfather in Japanese clothes and the background had very dull colours because he is still in the ‘Old World’. On the next page it shows the transition to the ‘New World’. The background colours have changed from dull to bright and he had changed into European clothes. The wave that looks very unsteady shows the ‘New World’. All this happens when you want to ‘see the world.
On page 17, there is a picture of the grandfather’s daughter holding a pram with a European doll sitting in it. The text that goes with the page was ‘As his daughter grew, my grandfather began to think about his own childhood. He thought about his old friends’. In the picture the author shows the contrast between the Asian girl and the European girl using different clothing and the cultural difference (seen through the colours of the hairs). When compared, the grandfather began to remember how his old friends in Japan were when they were little. This illustrates ‘…think about his own childhood. He thought about his old friends.’
Question 5. Discuss the attitudes and values of the text and your personal response to these.
Question 6. Describe at least one link you can make between this book and another/other texts you have read or viewed. How do the texts compare in terms of the ideas presented and how do you respond to these ideas?
One of the pages in this book makes us realise that we often label Japan as the enemy in World War II, whilst they were also the victim and had also suffered a large amount of devastation. In the film Pearl Harbour, one of the scenes was Japan bombing Pearl Harbour. This only shows the negative side of Japan, where they were attackers, but it did not show them as the victims suffering from the disaster. This movie is persuading the audience to blame Japan for the damages of the war, where Japan had to go through the emotional breakdowns and physical injuries.
Even though the book tells us not to blame Japan for the damages and the movie shows us that Japan was the enemy in World War II, there is still a link between the two texts and that is after a war majority of the participating countries will have, no matter large or small, havocs. I think, because of this, we should not blame a certain country for the occurrence of the war, and should not blame any country since the countries that participated are both enemies and victims of the war.