Write or Draw? Why Not Both??

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Napoleon Bonaparteonce said: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Before reading the article “Introduction: Graphic Narrative,” I never thought that people even argue about having words along with pictures. Hillary Chute and Marianne DeKoven state in this article “graphic narratives, on the whole, have the potential to be powerful precisely because they intervene against a culture of invisibility by taking the risk of representation.” I could agree with them, because after reading “Maus,” (the textbook story about the holocaust), just by looking at the pictures you can imagine the story in much detail without reading without needing the narratives, but when the narratives are added along with the pictures, the story is captured both visually and narratively. This way the reader has words that tell the story and pictures that visualize the same story. Reading the “The Futures of Literacy Modes, Logics and Affordances,” I came across an argument that talks about the changes in our modern literature: writing is substituted with images and books are substituted with screens. We tend to go from one border to another border: from just writing to just images, from actually reading a hard cover book to having an iPad that glows a book at us. Images and literature are two powerful tools that when combined together they produce a masterpiece that is both explained and visualized. Long time ago in Egypt lacking the technological abilities, the only way the literature could be recorded was through drawings, later as the humanity progressed by creating paper and ink and then the literature was in the written form, now our technology allows us to present both images and writing at the same time and this way the history is both captured and written. Truly “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and thousand words with the picture are worth thousands of thoughts.

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One thought on “Write or Draw? Why Not Both??

  1. I agree with you on several points. Neither did I realize there is an academic dilemma between writing and images. Although I am familiar with comics, I was not familiar with a graphic narrative such as Maus. Yet, after reading Maus, it’s hard to imagine reading this story in any other way. The graphic narrative format makes the story of the holocaust more compelling. If it had been written in text only, the significance of the story, while intriguing, would get lost in a sea of words. Adding pictures to the text gives the story meaning and brings the story to life. In “Introduction: Graphic Narrative,” Hillary Chute and Marianne DeKoven explain it this way, “…graphic narrative offers an intricately layered narrative language… that comprises the verbal, the visual, and the way these two representational modes interact on a page.” Additionally, Gunther Kress in “Literacy in the New Media Age,” describes the effect of image as, “the world told is a different world to the world shown.” In this way, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

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