I Am Thomas

I am Thomas

I Am Thomas positions readers to question authority and conformity. Low angle shots of the authority figures and dark colours accentuate Thomas’ fear of social pressure.  Throughout the picture book Gleeson and Greder have used colour to represent freedom. The black and white of authority figures is juxtaposed with the colour of imagination and freedom. Issues such as education, religion and politics are used to symbolise the regimented nature of society in which individuality is suppressed. The use of greyscale shading within I Am Thomas creates a sombre tone throughout the picture book.  Only Thomas and his possessions escape this miasma of hopelessness. In addition to visual text, repetition is used to highlight key phrases of verbal text. The slogan “be like us” is used repeatedly by each new group that influences Thomas, reiterating the similarity of people looking to exert power and control. Despite relying on stereotypes to frame social groups, I Am Thomas makes an interesting contribution to the metanarrative of individual expression.



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