Visual Representations On 2011-2012 Stories Of Ourselves

Creating a ‘Visual Representation’ of the short stories is an excellent way to get involved in the spirit of the story and makes a great starting point toward analysing the plot, characters, theme/s and structure. It’s also a fantastic way of reminding ourselves of the stories when the time comes for revising. I would like to thank the teacher and his students for blogging the work samples, and I am sure that he will not mind if I share them with you.


“Secrets” by Bernard MacLaverty

I will describe an episode from a “Secret” by Bernard MacLaverty. The Narrator of the story is a man, who thinks back and remembers very important, defining episode from his childhood. This part of the story is image that I’ve chosen.

We can see a boy (narrator as a child next to the big wooden shall who found some letters which were addressed to his aunt Mary from John Aug’15 Ballintoye. They were written with black spidery ink. You could see that letters are old because they were yellowish on the sides and you could find several holes on the paper. Reading letters was probably hard because some letters were fade and almost invisible. The boy was reading letters on the floor on the big fluffy carpet which was the size of the room floor. Letters were all around the boy and they smelled like old books from the library.

Windows were wide open and you could feel fresh wind which was blowing into the white transparent curtains. On the table where boy found bureau with letters you could see an old quill with dark blue ink on it and unfinished letter to person whom boy didn’t know. Between letters the boy could see a photograph of the soldier in green uniform and on the back was written with the same black spidery ink “Brother Benignus”. On the picture that I imagine the boy is wearing a clean white t-shirt, bright shorts, white shoes and socks. His hair is dark-dark black colour and eyes are brown. He is following each line of every letter very carefully.

I chose this scene because it’s mysterious part of the story “Secrets”. Also because it represents the climax is the most important scene in the plot of the story.

“The Lemon Orchard” by Alex La Guma

I am going to take the moment when all the men are leading the man in pajamas in the darkness. They are walking on an empty orchard with lemon trees alongside them. The moon is high up in the sky hidden by a few clouds. The men who kidnapped him are all wearing thick clothes because of the cold night weather. They are wearing hood to cover their dark faces with hateful looks towards the victim while he stands out with his striped, blue and white pajamas. He as well has a panicked look on his face. One of the men has a serious face and is holding a lantern as well as a gun. The leader is a big guy with an evil smile on his face holding a gun pointed at the victim.

This image is supposed to represent the main scene of the story. The dramatic scenery inspired me to describe this image, as the full moon and dark trees give a sense of drama to what was happening in the story. The guns express the terror and seriousness of the situation the poor man is in. The themes of this image I would say are terror, panic, darkness, death, and misery. As the story’s theme it is supposed to show, through the man’ s face, what South Africa has suffered with the huge segregation of educated, native, dark-colored men going on in the country at the time.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

My Visual Storytelling Project is a picture of a watermelon field, with the huge watermelon at the front of the field, and a shed with a gun sticking out the window, filled with salt. This image was taken from the story “The Taste Of A Watermelon” by Borden Deal. The Picture Has lots of rows of normal sized watermelons in the field because that’s what the story is like, and then in the middle of the field (the full field isn’t shown on the picture) there is a giant watermelon compared to the rest, and it’s almost the same size as the boy trying to push / roll it towards the flood plains by the river.
At the top right hand corner of the page, I chose a wooden-shack like building, with a window to be placed there, because in the story it describes how the man used to sit there, night and day guarding this prize winner watermelon, with a shotgun and it’s full of salt. The boy is trying to push it, with his back towards the shed, because it was too large and heavy to pick up, and the only way he could get it out of the way was to roll it down the hill towards the flood fields. The field was well looked after since the rows were so strait and perfect, it tried to make this imply that he was very serious about his farming. This picture was made by several pictures, cropped and edited into each other, and then I found it easier to print it off, add some touches to it by hand and then re-scan it.

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury
The moment I have chosen is from “There will come soft rains” when the nuclear bomb explodes and leaves the silhouettes of the people enjoying themselves behind. The moment is about even though it is in the past what was there still is like it have left an imprint of its existence so anyone passing by that sees it knows what was there before. Little pieces of the past are always left behind; it is just like a photograph of that moment in time.

The impact it has is quite saddening because the people in the Silhouettes look like they were having so much fun, then something terrible happened and all that’s left is their silhouettes.
The silhouettes are of a man mowing the lawn, a lady picking flowers and a girl and a boy playing with a ball. I chose this scene because even though it is a small detail in the story it is still important it shows us that tragedy came for the family when they were enjoying themselves.

I chose to make the picture in black and white so it would have a saddening feel to it. I made the wall grey. There is also grass in the picture to show that even though the people have died that life goes on. The picture is like it is pause sort of but in reality time is still going by. I did not add in the sprinkler so that is also why I put the grass instead.

“How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle
My visual Storytelling is from How it Happened. I know I’m not the best artist haha but I tried 😛 . I took the part just after the crash, when the ghost of the friend is standing there looking at the scene and the other ghost lets it sink in what really happened and becomes distressed. I found that great picture of the crashed car and I added a few adjustments to it and then printed it out. I thought it would be quite neat if I added the white outline where the body had been. The ghosts I drew are quite midgets because as I said I am not the greatest artist. I tried to draw a gun at the back of the friend’s shirt but I don’t think its very clear. I chose this image because I thought it had so much emotion to offer. There was the sadness, the fear, the sympathy and the anger. The disappointment and the curiosity. I thought this is one of the moments in the story I liked most because its the point where everything comes together. The ghosts I didn’t color or paste in because I thought it would be quite neat to leave them transparent and no one can see them. I enjoyed doing the project because you get so many good ideas 😀

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

I have taken a moment from “The Taste of Watermelon”. This story is about coming of age and right now I can really relate with that. The main characters and the narrator wanted to prove themselves by stealing the prized watermelon. My favorite is when the three boys are sitting on a bridge and looking over the moon lithe lake, talking about stealing the watermelon.

I have displayed this moment by presenting two boys with their backs visible. Two of the boys are sitting down and the narrator is standing up looking inspired. In the image you will be able to see a large moon and the lightened lake. The boys which are sitting down will have. The two boys sitting down are looking down at the lake talking. The shadows will give the image more depth.

The mediums I will be using are soft pencil and watercolor to give the image softness. The image looks like a child has drawn it, I tried to make it seem that way to illustrate that the boys were still children in that moment.

I’ll called the image “Moon Hanger” because the moon will be a focal part of the image and “hanger” because of the inspiration hanging in the air.

“How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle

My visual storytelling is basically just a picture of the car being ‘driven’ quickly down the hill, from the story HOW IT HAPPENED by Arthur Conan Doyle, non-stop and at high speed, seeing as how the breaks don’t seem to work. The picture is drawn in just black and white, or grayscale, on purpose to add a gloomy effect. And the writing at the top is written in an (attempted) chaotic way.

At the top of the page I have added some of the characters’ thoughts as they roll down the hill towards their death. Words such as ‘confusion’ (because of the broken brakes) ‘questions’ (as to who broke them) ‘rush’ (as in the rush of the moment, and how fast they made their way down the hill), and more. They were supposed to be written faintly, as if blending in with the sky, so that it would look more ghostly, but instead I made it look like their actual thoughts (in a thought bubble). The angle the car is situated in doesn’t even look potentially dangerous, and I could have made the hill much more slanted, but then the picture would look a little more distorted. I’ve also made the slope look darker and grimmer than actually described in the book, but not by much, and I tried to make it look steep as if crossing it would lead to a huge drop. This story also lets the viewer think about possible endings to the story described in the one picture.

 “How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle

The choice that i have made for a visualisation is the moment in ‘How it Happened’ where the car is flying through the air through the estate gates, about to crash into one of the pillars on the mansion. I have decided on this moment as it shows the climax of the story, and what happens after all of the hardships that occur up to the point of the crash. The car is a few feet above the ground, and it travelling at some speed, and it is speeding through the open gates of the estate, and headed straight for a large pillar on the front of the large building in the centre of the estate. The only light is moonlight, coming from the large Moon in the background. The faces of the main character and the butler would be of excitement, but also fear.

The image shows great excitement, and reveals how the story ends, with the horrible car crash, where the main character dies, and the butler is hurt. I chose this image as it seemed to be full of movement, and is a very exciting image. It also gives a good understanding of the main character; liking action and adventure, but sometimes takes things a little too lightly. The image symbolises the dangers of driving quickly, and what can happen to you if you make a mistake whilst at the wheel.

“Meteor” by John Wyndham

I chose an image from the story Meteor by John Wyndham. It represents the moment of the cat’s attack. After the aliens landed on the earth, they left their spaceship to explore the room and they met a cat. They got into a fight and a lot of them died. In the end, the leader of the alien group killed the cat, but he dies as well.

My image shows the fight between the black cat and the ant-like aliens. The cat is in an attacking position, on its feet and showing its claws and teeth. In the picture, I made the cat look very aggressive and evil because in the story, the cat is being described as ‘cold, cruel and non-inteligent’. I drew the cat in the middle of the image, and I tried to make it look very big compared to the aliens surrounding the cat. I tried to put a lot of movement into the picture.

To draw the aliens, I started with drawing normal black ants, but then I wanted to make them look more unfamiliar and ‘alienlike’, that’s why I added colourful stripes on their backs. Next to the cat, I drew the aliens very small, but further in the front, I drew them quite big, so that you can see them in detail. Some of the aliens are already dead and some have weapons (fire-rods) and one of them is even shooting.

I chose this scene because it is most exciting and full of action. It is interesting, how a cat – a cute ‘little’ pet for us – can be so dangerous for other creatures. And it is also amazing, that even though the aliens are so small, they are still really dangerous because of their good technology and knowledge.

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury

I chose this particular scene of ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ because I found the sheer contrast and diversity in the setting fascinating and because the image itself tells a longer tale from its individual parts (and I have a soft spot for post-nuclear holocaust stories). The image shows the modern house with one wall burnt except in places where the shape of a family can be seen. It also clearly shows the irradiated city below, dead from the nuclear explosion. You can also see the dog foaming at the mouth and crazy next to the house that is still reading the poem.

Firstly, as in the story, you have the sleek new house full of technology and modern design seemingly in order (this is represented by the unscortched side of the house) then slowly as the story progresses we start to see that the house is empty. Now this could mean nothing more than the fact it’s a show house, but when you see the image of the house in my picture it is quite clear that something bad has happened, and again when you see the glowing irradiated city below you can see what happened. The image represents the destruction that man is capable of and how in this particular case, life was ended in an instant leaving behind only stencils of the people. However the image also shows Nature’s will to survive after such incidents.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

Picture where in “The Taste of a Watermelon” three boys are eating a huge watermelon.
It is a dark colour of the sky, with bright stars and full moon shining. At the background you can see some trees, green leaves, red apples hanging, brown stems. The water which is running in front of the boys is calm, dark, reflects the moon. The watermelon is green and black stripped, it is not cut, but very messy all over the place. The flesh of it is bright red, with dark black seeds. Three boys sit around the watermelon, one is fit, blonde, handsome, he is sitting with his legs crossed. The other two are brunette, one is slimmer than the other one, all are eating watermelon and all are very dirty. All of them are wearing shorts which are dirty because they are sitting on the ground, and different coloured shirts, yellow, red and white, and all of their faces are in watermelon juice. Their shirts are messy too, they all have short hair and they seem to be full of the watermelon, but happy.
I decided to choose exactly this moment of the scene because i think that it is very strong, athe whole story is just about this moment where boys are finally eating this watermelon. For me it is a key scene in the story, i also decided to choose it because the watermelon is very nice, and that would be nice to picture it, like to show how huge it is.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens

My picture is my perspective of the scene from ‘The Signalman” where the woman jumps out of the train.

The centrepiece of the picture is the train that is coming out of the tunnel. As the story is set in the 1850s/ 60s, I have drawn a steam train. Just before the tunnel, you can see the front of the first carriage. At the rear of this carriage is the woman jumping out. The door is open behind her. The other person in the picture is the signalman. He is watching the events unfold.

Behind the train are the jagged hills. There is where the signalman’s house is located. It is a basic looking one made out of wood. There is a path leading from the entrance of the house to the tracks.

There are a few shrubs on the hills, but not many. I decided not to put too many things on the hills, as it would complicate the scene. Next to the hills is a bit of blue sky and some dark grey clouds. This symbolises the sad scene. Below this is the tunnel, which has a stone covering; the red light is on the left hand side.

I chose this scene as it is a very important one in the story and can be shown in many different ways. I have drawn what I think the scene should look like.

“Meteor” by John Wyndham

My picture shows the moment the meteor hits the ground, and everyone is shocked, and everything in the room is shaking from the force of the meteor.

The basic picture is the meteor is hitting the ground outside and you can see the fire trail and the earth flying as it hits the soil and the smoke behind it. There is a cat outside that looks very surprised because the meteor hit the ground very close to it. Inside, there is a dog that barks in surprise, a man that is surprised but more calm, and a woman that is really shocked and screams very loudly. Everything in the room is shaking, including the people and the animals.

To give the effect of the meteor flying very fast and violently, I tried making it look like a real meteor. I put streaks of fire on it to do this. Also, the soil on the ground flying out when the meteor hits the ground also gives an effect to how fast the meteor is going. I put smoke behind the meteor to show that it is on fire, and it is not just a rock. I put big eyes and a sad face on the cat to show that he is really surprised and not very happy about the huge bang behind him. I tried making him look like he was walking and just froze, as two of his feet are in the air. With the dog, I put one ear up to show that he heard something very loud, because dogs only seem to do that when they hear something very loud and they want to know what it is. To put an effect of the room shaking, (it’s hard to explain by writing it) I used black lines on curves of objects to show that they are vibrating, as I had seen this in a cartoon and thought it would be a very good idea. To give a greater effect of the room shaking, I made the liquid in the glass on the table look like it’s about to spill out. To show what emotions the people have, I used speech bubbles for all the living things in the room. To make sure people know they are in a house, I used a jar with flowers in it, and a rug.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens

I am doing my visual image on a particular part where the Signalman is having a conversation with the narrator about his job and then tells him how he thought he was someone else, he then goes on to tell the narrator what he saw when he looked at the red warning light and then the ghost appearing telling him all manners of weird and unusual things that didn’t make sense to the Signalman at first.

My image will look like the Signalman is looking out towards the tunnel entrance and sees the ghost fading into the picture; the picture is shaded almost completely because I want to show how dark it actually gets down in the dungeon like tunnel as that’s how I feel that the story was depicted through Charles Dickens’s descriptions. I will be making the Signalman kind of scruffy looking as he has been down in the darkness with only a small crevice of moonlight. The ghost however is going to look like it’s just coming into the picture so it makes it looks like he has just saw the ghost appear from the shadows of the tunnel. I make all these choices because I write/draw what I picture the story to be and this is my version of how the Signalman, Ghost, Setting looks like but even if my vision is different to what Charles had in mind it is still the same story and following the same rules.

I think this image will go well with the moment because it gives and understanding of how the Signalman reacted, and how the ghost came into the story. It also gives a sense of fear/horror/spooky whichever you like, because of the way that I have depicted the setting to be.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

The story I am choosing is ‘The Taste of Watermelon’ and the scene ive chosen is when the boy goes through the field and gets the watermelon. The imagine i get in my head of this scene is, the moon, big and bright up in the sky and the young boy being covered in mud from head to toe as he has been crawling through the dirt, one of his hands is reaching towards the watermelon and one finger is gently placed on it while his hair is in his face. He has a worried look on his face because he is looking upwards towards Mr.Wills who we can see through the window in the distance. He has a long shot gun in his hand and is sitting on a rocking chair looking out with a sort of smirk but serious look on his face mummbling away to himself. So the young boy is very scared looking towards mr.Wills but he is still determined to get that watermelon. The boy then pull’s the root of the watermelon and it budges and he keeps tugging at it while he looks very struggled, then the watermelon comes loose and the boy lays down onto his back, and rolls it down his body and is now smiling. Mr.Will’s closes his eye’s for a moment to rest, as he is sure nobody would steal the melon on such a clear day. The boy feels a sort of adrenaline rush because of what he has accomplished while he is taking through the field to show his friends, and once he reaches the end of the field and his friends are in eye sight, he takes a deep breath and goes ‘ I Told You I Could Do It’ with a smug look on his face.

“The Yellow Wall Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

My project is about the part of the story where in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the mad woman is ripping down all the wallpaper and John, her husband is on the floor. Jennie is trying to lift him us as he has fainted. There is John’s suitcase on the floor as he just came back from work in the city.

In the picture there is a woman, on the right hand side, with her sharp nails and angry facial expression. She is trying to rip the wallpaper as she is trapped behind it. She is imprisoned and cannot escape so she is ripping herself free. Her hair is all messed up as she has totally gone bonkers and she is now in complete madness. On the wallpaper near the door you can see her creeping out over John out of the room. As specified in the book, it says she has to keep on creeping over him again and again. This is what it is representing. Also Jennie, John’s sister is trying to lift John up from the floor as he was fainted at the shock of his wife. Thinking she was cured when she was not and then her ripping up the wallpaper gave him the shock of his life. His briefcase is on the floor behind him, showing that he had work at the city the day before that. Also in the picture you can see the bed she was on and under it you can see the her secret diary that she was writing her notes of the day and how she felt on. You can see it says ‘DIARY’ written on the cover of it. Another important factor is that the wallpaper is being torn down. Also some of it is already torn. The window is also open, but in the woman’s condition it is barred. There is also a curtain on it so that when she was ripping down the wallpaper nobody could see her. There is a lot of detail in the room. This is one of the most dramatic points of the story. It shows that everything they did to try to cure her failed and she became worse thanks to the cursed wallpaper.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

Description forthcoming.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

In this visual image I see it as two or three guys rolling away the huge watermelon, a watermelon which is bigger than any watermelon a person has ever seen in his life (the same as it is mentioned in the story). This watermelon looks mouth watering and just ready to eat. The guys are wearing farm clothes, as in some kind of shorts together with a white t-shirt and some shoes. I imagine the owner of this watermelon seeing the guys rolling away this huge watermelon and getting ready to go outside and run after these guys.

I believe it communicates well with the moment as it continues some story however also describes the behavior of teenagers or in other words, teenage guys. I find this image very interesting as you can never for sure know what this story can continue as or if this story is going to end good or bad. It stays as a mystery until the story could continue.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens
The idea is the ghost warning the signalman about the train.


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