The Importance Of Alienation In The Arrival

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The Arrival is a graphic novel, which was written to be a universal tale of immigrating to a new culture without knowing the language or having any prior connections. Illustrations constitute the entirety of the story, with no text in any real language and taking place in a made up culture, assuring that all readers would experience the character’s feeling of alienation in the same way. While the society the unnamed main character finds himself in is a fantasy, it is structured like a real one, with references to Ellis Island and a semi-modern immigration process. This book is similar to The Metamorphosis, as each of these stories focuses on one person whose situation has changed so drastically that simply taking care of himself and getting comfortable requires acclimation. For one, his body and preferences have changed, and the other, the world around him. Early on, both stories show their characters’ misplacement in their environment and then their adaptation by implying a simple task the character wishes to carry out, but showing how it has become more complicated, due to the disruption which has occurred. This is clearer in The…show more content…
While it is unlikely that the reader has personally faced Gregor’s dilemma of literally transforming into a bug overnight, The Arrival is structured in a way the reader shares the character’s lack of knowledge of the new society’s technology, whether or not they have been in the same position in real life. Additionally, unlike The Arrival, where the setting is strange and the character is common, Gregor is unusual and his setting is common. Since the protagonist is not universally relatable, it is hard to be empathetic to him, however, if the reader relates the door scene (Kuper, 24) to the faucet scene (Tan, part II), the door scene prompts the interpretation that foreignness is relative and that Gregor is now a stranger in his own
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