Review of “Palestine” by Joe Sacco
“Palestine” is one of Joe’s novels, whose themes and characters are displayed through both text and photographs. Some of the themes include hostility, cruelty, torment, and injustice. It is a unique way of writing, whereby most of the graphics make the novel be more interesting and easy to comprehend. The use of graphic technique also brings the real picture of life, as most of the things displayed in are book are real. However, most of the themes are intermingled, as one theme can be understood under the other. In most cases, the reader encounters the pictures and symbols of hostility or illustration of cruelty, especially in the story of the moderate pressure, where there is a character called Ghassan. He is blamed for getting involved with a strange group that has its whereabouts under investigation; although, it is not easy to confirm this is in the text. As the investigation goes on, he is then required to either sit or stand at a given position for a long time, while receiving beatings. Moreover, there was no permission to rest at night or to access any medical attention, when the need arose.
Every time he goes to court to learn his verdict, the case is always postponed to remove some evidence provided against him. There seems to be no fair justice against him up to some many days, when he is set free, because there was not enough prove of the claim. While in custody, he goes through a lot of brutality, cruelty, and pain. This is clearly shown in most of the pictures and through words; Sacco has used many illustrations to show the brutality, violence, hostility, as well as injustice. He explores another theme called hypocrisy, which is particularly enhanced by the Palestine’s action on the Israelites. This is well-evident with the help of images. The Israelites appear to be hopeful, brighter, and livelier, unlike the Palestines. This is best illustrated by the way Tell and Nablus appear. Sacco is lying on the seat, next to the two beautiful women, and it seems to be a sunny humid day, in Nablus. Sacco appears to be with a group of Palestines, they are afraid, and there is another group of threatening military at the back of them (Hedges and Sacco 29).
The author refers to the films of hostility to be similar to the real life in the past and the contemporary life. When Sacco reaches the Saleh’s place of work, he meets Saleh’s managers, who then try to enquire on the pictures that were taken by Sacco. He then uses some quote to describe violence. Then, in the end, his pictures are not purchased, since the faces could not be clearly seen. The theme does not come out clearly like other subjects, a reader can only identify this clearly from some of the examples given at the cover. Sacco creates an outstanding peak, so as such incidents are amongst the true structure mass of history. The course of what occurred was slow to understand well, and outshined by the new growth in the Suez crisis. Sacco’s image as of a reporter-cartoonist was recognized with “Palestine” and “Safe Area Gorazde”, has saved them from darkness, since are just “like countless past disasters more than many years that hardly speed annotation rank in the wide clearance of the past, although, they always had the tons sorrow and rage that form contemporary proceedings” (Said 23).
There are several additional topics represented in this work of fiction, which an individual can explore into, though already mentioned earlier. Sacco’s picture narrative is enjoyable to read and to comprehend. This means that an individual can be caught up in the whole narrative, even though in general the book appears to be a bit discouraging. It may be hard for many readers to really understand what the book is all about. A person can say it is about the fight over land, but, the circumstances, the chaos, the real level of cruelty, or yet what appears like a shape of apartheid that was enhanced in the Saccos novel, the book is informative though most of the narratives that show hostility and cruelty in the Western countries. Most of the descriptions support this idea that an individual cannot see clearly at first. Joe is exposed to deverity taking photos of violence, though he does not act in response. Saleh, when he is there, is shown with his camera ready, waiting for the various form of fighting to arise. There is a brilliant portrait of Saburo on page 54; his camera lens appears big, just like a telescope. On the other hand, Sacco is chatting with another reporter. Saleh says he is exhausted of his present position, since all of the cruelty of the intifada is coming up slowly and the photos are not good anymore.
Given that all the Jews have gone through pain from other people in the different societies and that they have been discriminated against, it easy to think that they could not imagine wreaking anybody in the same way. He uses the quotes that appear to be evocative to the one given during the period of Holocaust; the quotes like the Jewish are not human. The situation of hypocrisy is clear in the whole novel. Another theme of scandalous nature of the press, Sacco is expressing the way his intensions are, to actually see the chaos happening, since they can contribute more to his writing, so as to get the market though. Sacco really did not understand the way it all has started. The way he comes across Saburo, the Japanese reporter, who never wanted to take photos about cruelty or have the photo that seemed to be “Too Heavy in some way”, Sacco confesses to be a “vulture”; though, he cannot really feel sorry for being so self-centered (Sacco 45).
Both the government and the press seemed not to remember that slaughters are still alive in the minds of many that were affected. Sacco then uses Abed El-Aziz El-Rantisi as the head of Humans, who were staying in Khan Youn He is talking about the way his uncle was murdered. He says it with bitterness in his heart. The brilliance and speed of Sacco’s pictures paired with an extremely well-versed and clever verbal story, work very well in narrating the tale. In fact, it is hard to picture the way another kind of reporting can create such events to appear interesting. Many papers or TV journalists know that the beginning of the present catastrophes lies in unclear, unpublicized actions. However, they also know that their information editors are most engrossed in what is latest and are expected to release distraction into the past, as journalistic decadence liable to bore and confuse the viewers (Sacco 34).
The author’s detection of Palestinian and Israeli is persistent and inspiring. He gives the information about the people, who assist him, particularly his fixer Abed, and conveys back the two eras about Gaza Strip, which is a town that was full of refugees in 1950s, just like it is now. Khalid inquires from Sacco to know about the happenings in the West. This then touches him so much, though they appear normal to community from the West; for example, in terms of the issues about sex. This personality of immorality has an effect on a person’s own opinion of right and wrong. In Palestine, for instance, the reader is exposed to a variety of characters and individual views of what evil or good is. For example, the body of Suddam Hussein, to most people (Westerners, Israelis); Hussein is portrayed as a bad person. On the other hand, to some of the Palestinians characterized, Hussein was a strength of excellence and freedom, and to some extent the resort of the last hope. Wickedness in the narrative is represented to the person, who reads in many situations that our people, cultural customs, and ethics can appreciate. Cruel violence, deficiency, apartheid, and suffering are all signs of the evil doings. Sacco assumed the work of ignored pre-photography war performer, when exploiting the tale and the textual devices of the humorous book. Other authors have included humor in their writings in order to break the monotony of narration and to relieve tension. This makes him unique; though, it could have been more enjoyable, if he had employed it as a constant style of writing.
The novel handles the ideas of the rest of the world’s cultural norms and ethics. Individual ideas being evil means doing something that does not appear pleasant to the other human being, culture, or the principles. Some parts of the novel deal with variations in the values of a given culture. For instance, the manner, in which the command of the murder of a treacherous woman is issued. According to the people from the West, this sound inhuman, but to the Palestines, it is their faith and belief; hence, they have the authority to do so, as assigned with respect to the family. The book shows many dirty actions of the Palestines, which is a direct reflection of the contemporary world.
Hedges, Chris, and Joe Sacco. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. New York: Nation Books, 2012. Print.
Sacco, Joe. Palestine. London: Jonathan Cape, 2003. Print.
Said, Edward W. The Question of Palestine. London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. Print.
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