The Island


Heffernan and Sheehan ask their readers, “How do we find happiness, and … how can we hold onto it?” Interestingly, the protagonist of The Island is a blind urchin who alone amongst the tribe shows insight into the nature of happiness. Much like Shakespeare’s King Lear, who forsook eyesight in order to find insight, the urchin gains an appreciation of the world that his fellow villagers lack.  The creature, which embodies happiness within the text, is depicted in a myriad of colours. As the tribes people incarcerate the creature in order to hold onto their happiness its colour begins to fade into a grey shadow of its former splendour. Throughout The Island, Heffernan and Sheehan present the idea that sustainable happiness requires reciprocated freedom and joy. Once the villagers begin to feed on the creature for their happiness, it can no longer sustain them.  Long sombre faces and black and white sketching are used to depict the unhappiness of the tribe in the absence of the creature. The Island uses a highly developed narrative to support the accompanying visual text, white space is minimal and readers are left with a content rich depiction of the urchin’s journey.



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