The Rabbits The Rabbits written by John Marsden and Shaun Tan is an allegorical fable about colonisation told from the perspective of the natives, represented as billibies. The Rabbits are a metaphor for the white settlers of Australia and the story is about their negative effect on the world of the Aboriginal people. The use of imagery is widely used through the text. It creates a sense of feeling as, if imagined you would be able to feel part of the story. Emotive Language was used as well to portray a feeling to the reader for example, “Who will save us from the Rabbits? This picture book shows a lot of symbols which enhances more of an illustration for example the rabbits themselves are a symbol as they represent the British who colonised and also the billibies represent the aborigines. The illustration of this visual text done by Shaun Tan is beautiful to look at because of the superb artistic style which are bold and creative. They range from light and airy peaceful landscapes, to dramatic collages. The rabbits are drawn stylish experts who change the environment. As the story goes on, the bright colours drain from it, leaving blackness.
The setting, a rural area or the outback are shown in relation to what the rabbits did to the calm environment, changing it into the land they want it to be which was against everything the aborigines believed about land in their culture. Personification is where the act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas is used to convey the message or moral of the text in a unique way. The quote, “no mountain could stop them; no desert; no river” is a use of personification in the text suggesting the depth of the story.
Sarcasm is not widely used throughout the text but can help give a better meaning to the story. The Gaze of the characters are not demand as they are not facing the reader but are looking somewhere else which is offer. Themes expressed through this visual text are strong and powerful. For example, War, the destruction and fights occurring between the rabbits and natives are intense and heart-breaking. The amount of bravery and sacrifice they do to protect the land from harm’s way is incredible.
However, because of how advanced the settlers are, the natives do not stand a chance in defeating the rabbits but they do not lose hope in peace. In the end, the natives do everything they can to protect the land and their families from the rabbits but one by one the rabbits take what is not rightfully theirs, taking their children, their home and their connection to land which changes the natives’ minds whether or not anyone can save them from the rabbits’ ways? Muzna Usmani 8Gc 3rd August Friday 2012