In order to comment on the significant use of illustrations with reference to their textual matter and explain the relationship between them and I have chosen two works: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and “Hana’s Suitcase” by Karen Levine.
For the first book “The Giving Tree” we have clear and explicit illustrations who success to compliment the readings quite well, in order to support the main idea of the text and to improve it with simple but effective drawings.
The second book “Hana’s Suitcase,” is a slender book, easy to read, illustrated with heartbreakingly happy family photos and original documents. The illustrations support the narrative of the story and are also disturbing evidence of true a story.
“Hana’s Suitcase” is an emotional journey that teaches us how past and present could work together for making a story come alive. It is a true story of a Czech Jewish girl named Hana Brady who died in Auschwitz, when she was only thirteen.
She was a happy child until Hitler was elected to power and changes started to affect all the people. At the first, the law weren’t so restrictive regarding Jews but as the months roll on, Hana and her brother George noticed that they can no longer do the things that they were used to like playing in the park, going to a movie or the worst, going to school. She began to feel lonely and isolated, and it was only a matter of time until the things started to go worst. She tried to maintain the joy and hope, telling happy memories with her brother and closing it in a capsule they had buried.
After this, Hana’s mother has sent into a women’s concentration camp in Germany and she never saw her again. After a few months, also the father was sent to a camp, and the children remained alone in the world. Hana was separated by her brother and held on a camp named Theresienstadt before she was sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed.
Karen Levine makes a really good alternation between the story of Hana and her family from the 1930’s and their miserable life after deportation in the concentration camp and the story of Fumiko Ishioka, the director of the Tokyo Holocaust Center who made a detective work in 2000 in order to present the story to the Japanese children.
Hana had a simple suitcase with her, sent by her mother when she was already there, a suitcase that had Hana’s name, birthday and the German words for orphan written across it. This suitcase captured the imagination of the children who helped Fumiko in his investigation. He wanted to know more about this girl, so they formed a club named “Small Wings” and the produced a newsletter to tell the story further to other children and generation that would like to know more about the Holocaust and the sad story about Hana and her suitcase.
It seems to be that Hana took painting lesson in the concentration camp and left a lot of draws and painting that Fumiko tried to find but was a dead end.
Coming back to the first book, we will discuss about a unique language in literary device of creating imaginative realities that Shel Silverstein has in his book “The Giving Tree” were the poem doesn’t use a lot of figurative language; the most important once are refrain and personification. Silverstein use the line as a refrain “And the tree was happy” (Silverstein “The Giving Three” Lines 12, 28, 42, 52, and 62) to emphasize a point about happiness. The author believes that a person who gives is more happy that a person who received, because the person who receive will always want more.
Silverstein uses personification when he was given to the tree human qualities and a gender because, in the book, the tree sometimes appears with the appellative “her”. The tree can speech, can give the boy want he wants and the most important thing that made it human is the fact that it has emotions. The third figurative language used in the book is narrative poetry. This book it is a telling story that’s why it is called to be a narrative poem. “The Giving Tree” tells the story of a little boy that grew up loving and being loved by a tree. The narrative poetry is used in an appropriate sense here.
The boy is also a representation of the child development stages, the story could be compared of how a mother grows her children to an age and then she let them go into the world, standing strong and expecting for them to come back, exactly how the tree did.
In order to explain what extent literature can educate us about ourselves and suggest helpful ways for children to come to terms with the world and growing up a have chosen these two books that are representative for the subject. I will start with a quite that Karen Levine said it, regarding the book “Hana’s Suitcase”; she will hope that children ‘will learn from the story that history matters, and that despite the most unspeakable evil, good people and good deeds can make a difference’. (Levine, Hana’s Suitcase)
The symbol of the story, the suitcase can teach as a good lesson. If the children can see this one empty suitcase, maybe they could understanding the pain and the suffer that a children of thirteen years could endure after was separated by her parents and after a while, by her own brother and leaved alone by herself, only with the suitcase that could remained her from home. “We’ll be together forever, no matter what,”(Levine, Hana’s Suitcase) this was a promise from her mothrer that she couldn’t keep it. This is a lesson of tolerances and compassion, and could by a hard lesson to be learned by a child.
Symbolism has a very important role in the book “The giving tree”. At the first read could be a simple story that represents the friendship between a boy and a tree but if you go deeper, you can discover many complex theme that are hidden in the text.
The three most important symbols that appear in the book are true friendship, happiness and self-sacrifice. "Once there was a treeand she loved a little boy" (The Giving Tree, line 1) The first one, true friendship results from the relationship between the tree and the boy; the tree was always there for the boy, the tree always get the boy what he needed, the tree liked having the boy around. Going further in understanding the deeper message we conclusion that true friends are always there for each other, true friends are happy for each other; true friends should always help the other out.
The second symbol is represented by happiness. “And the tree was happy”. (The Giving Tree, lines 12, 28, 42, 52, and 62) The tree was easily made happily, the tree was always happy to see the boy, the tree was happy to give the boy things; other than he was young, the boy was hardly ever happy. The deeper message that we extract from here is that friends should be happy when they see each other, friends should be happy when they do things for each other, friends should find happiness in each other instead of material things.
The third symbol is self-sacrifice; “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches.” (The Given Tree, lines 17-18) the tree represents the embodiment of unconditional parental love. The tree has a selfless love for them boy and never expects something in return. When you read the book you have the impression the tree sacrifice a lot for the boy, but the tree doesn’t look the things this way; he is just happy and fulfilled that has the ability to give the boy what he needs. This is pure sacrifice and only a parent could do this for its child.
Regarding the story “Hana’s Suitcase” the symbol of the book is a tangible one, not as metaphorical as the last story, and it is represented by the suitcase that here has two meanings, which are antagonistic. The first meaning of the suitcase regards the terrible injustice of the Holocaust, and the second one represents the symbol of hope. Also, the symbolism of the suitcase had a deep emotional impact, calling out for righting wrongs against humanity.
Comparing with “The Giving Tree”, “Hana’s Suitcase” is a lesson of tolerance and comparison but could be for the children of early age, a traumatic story. The big difference between the two of them is that the first is a true story which comes with a lot of proves, photos and documents and the second one is an imaginary poem. The first one could have a huge impact on children who may be impressed or truly marked after reading the story of Hana. For children, this could be a sudden awakening to reality, and they are still at an early age when they should be protected for the bad things. Comparing with “The Giving Tree” that speeches about unconditional love and offer them the good value in life, “Hana’s Suitcase” is a sad story that talk about pain and suffer, things that kids don’t need to know necessary to soon.
“The giving tree” gives the little children a life lesson that is better to be discus when they are young. Maybe they won’t understand the all philosophical idea but you can still help them introduced some of this themes and put them a lot of questions, then let them think of what they read, after that a discuss regarding the most important themes expose on the book will make it a little clear for them to learned the principle of life and happiness. Another positive aspect of the story is that between the dialogues from boy to the tree are long gaps that can let us imagine whatever we want and for the children will be a great opportunity to build imagination and communication skills by creating beside the original story, short scene that will fill the gaps.
This is a book that could achieve a positive reaction from the little reader the adults in the same time. “The giving tree” is a book that can form with the help of the story values and life beliefs of children.
Silverstein, S. The Giving Tree. All Poetry. Web. 10.Nov.2014. Available at https://allpoetry.com/poem/8538991-The-Giving-Tree-by-Shel-Silverstein
DiMauro, M. The Meaning of the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Analysis and Activities for Children. Bright Hub Education. 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 10. Nov. 2014. Available at http://www.brighthubeducation.com/study-and-learning-tips/65891-the-giving-tree-analysis-and-activities/
Blair, C.M. The Giving Tree-Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion. Mtholyoke. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. Available at https://www.mtholyoke.edu/omc/kidsphil/questions/Givingtree/givingtree_discussion.html
Brady. The Next Generation.Hanna’s Story. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. Available at http://www.hanassuitcase.ca/?p=157
Hamaker, S.M..“Inside Hanna’s Suitcase” a Lesson in Tolerance and Compassion. Japan Culture NYC. 22 April 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. Available at http://www.japanculture-nyc.com/2012/04/22/inside-hanas-suitcase-a-lesson-in-tolerance-and-compassion/