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daughter. The pictures in the nine panels become part of a full-page spread that shows the family (including the pet) happily reunited around the table. In such a way, the transition from outsiders to insiders is symbolised through the familiarity that they have acquired with the objects and codes of their new culture, and we are inclined to think that because now they understand the culture in which they are living, a feeling of belonging is finally attained.

4. Conclusion The previous analysis of the book’s narrative should only be taken as a personal reading that by no means pretends to be authoritative or definitive. I have tentatively proposed a sense for Tan’s wordless graphic story, but as we have previously discussed in this essay, this is only one of the multiple interpretations that a reader can make of a narrative which is mainly constructed with pictures. Just as the child who feels the need to tell the story aloud as he/she turns the pages of the book, I have rendered my impressions about the arrival of the migrant into a new land as part of a hermeneutic exercise that sought to shed light on the meanings of this wordless story. My reading of The Arrival will probably differ significantly from the reading that another person from a different age or cultural background could make; other words could be used to describe the same situations and other emotions might be perceived in the eyes of the characters. This openness of the text is created by the author himself, he has produced the conditions for this plurality of meanings and encouraged the reader to escape from absolute answers and hermeneutical homogeneity. To conclude this interpretation of Tan’s graphic novel, it is important to emphasize that the wordless nature of The Arrival is not arbitrary; words become unnecessary to depict the story of the nameless migrant both because its absence highlights the impossibility of the main For me, a successful character to communicate with other people, in his new picturebook is one in which country, and because it contributes to enhance the feeling of everything is presented to alienation in the reading experience. the reader as a speculative In this narrative, words are successfully replaced by images as a result of the unique eloquence of Tan’s illustrations. proposition, wrapped in Every detail, every element in the pages of The Arrival, help invisible quotation marks, to construct meaning in the reader’s mind and to translate the as if to say “what do visual language into the verbal. As active readers, we are not you make of this?” (Tan, only able to identify the general plot of the story and the dif“Picturebooks”) ferent stages of the migrant’s adventure, but to go deeper and 201

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LIJ Ibero. Revista de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil Contemporánea. Núm. 1  

El número 1 de la revista LIJ Ibero correspondiente a la Primavera 2016 es un viaje subversivo y poco canónico. Ésta publicación es un tanto...

LIJ Ibero. Revista de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil Contemporánea. Núm. 1  

El número 1 de la revista LIJ Ibero correspondiente a la Primavera 2016 es un viaje subversivo y poco canónico. Ésta publicación es un tanto...

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