The Rabbits John Marsden & Shaun Tan Name of the text, its composer, its origin, its date and its form The Rabbits is a picture book written by John Marsden and drawn by Shaun Tan published 9/1/2000. Write an explanation of the text, mentioning its purpose and audience and showing the relevance of the text to the concept of Belonging or Not Belonging. The rabbits is about the arrival and colonisation of the British and the progression that took place during and after their arrival and shows the impact they had towards Aboriginal People and the Land.
Shaun Ta uses Rabbits, being a foreign criminal, to portray the British, and the native num-bat like creatures as Aboriginal People. The rabbits targets all ages, and brings the mistreat and suffering of Aboriginal people during British colonisation to attention. This text is relevant to belonging as it demonstrates the loss of identity to Aboriginals that occurred in the white settlement of Australia. How does the text convey meaning? Consider features, techniques: visual or written, language etc. You must also discuss the effect of these devices.
The text conveys meaning by showing British impact towards Aboriginal’s and the land. The author John Marsden uses pared back text which is powerfully interpretated and enhanced with striking illustrations by Shaun Tan, who uses strong stylished shapes with loose, free backgrounds that contain more information than the text as well as showing the land, its nature, flora and fauna. The bold arrangement of characters, elements & spare text imply simplicity but reveals complexity in illustrations using heavy symbolism which backs up the text as well as giving the reader a greater depth of understanding.
Examples shown of the techniques that Shaun Tan uses are seen tt the beginning of the book the illustrations show the land before the rabbits arrived and is full of detail and colour, but upon the arrival of the rabbits the illustrations lose their colour and their detail to more darker unattractive colours. Also other techniques such as displaying multiple images on one page which widens the perspective on what is happening as well emphasising the depth of the text. Also Tan has drawn more rabbits in some pages to emphasise the taking over of the rabbits and driving out of the ‘numbats’ (Aboriginals) symbolising they don’t belong.
How does the text open up the idea of belonging or not belonging for you? The text opens up the idea of not belonging as at the start of the book it shows the ‘numbat’ creatures portrayed as Aboriginals belonging and their links to the land since the beginning of time. But until the arrival of The Rabbits portrayed as the British whom had immediately taken over and drove the ‘numbat’ creatures off the land so they could create their own new world, in which taking the only thing that made the ‘numbats’, (Aboriginals) Belong, which was the basis of their freedom and identity, as well as their only links to belonging.
How is your understanding of the effect of belonging or not belonging developed from reading the text? My understanding of the effect of not belonging is developed in reading the text as page after page as it reveals the clear, strait forward naked honesty behind the text showing the Rabbits taking over, dominating and driving out the ‘numbat’ creatures and taking over the land, Creating the reason why the ‘numbat’ creatures, (Aboriginals) don’t Belong in their new worlds.
What links would you make between this text and the Simple Gift? In comparing the two texts The rabbits and the Simple Gift, The Rabbits shows the concept of a ‘race’(Aboriginals) which at the start of the book shows us how they ‘belonged’ to the land since the beginning of time. Until the arrival of the rabbits which forced them off the land, taking away their freedom, their identity and their only links which make them feel belonged.
But the Simple Gift on the other hand is the complete opposite as the main character Billy is trying to search for where he belongs and to escape his past life and his alcoholic father. Towards the end of the novel Billy finds a true sense of belonging which he had never had or felt before. In conclusion both texts are very different as The Simple Gift shows Billy who at first does not belong but throughout his journey he finds where he belongs and The Rabbits shows the ‘numbat’ creatures belonging to the land up until The rabbits arrival which changes their status to not belonging.