Name Instructor Course Date Book Review: The Wall: Growing up behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis When the publishers of the Sis book called me to review this work of art, I asked him why he picked me from the many authors of today. I made aware of the many similarities that the life of Peter Sis and mine have apart from the fact that I had also written many other books and the nominations I had for the Nobel Prize…
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Although Peter Sis is some years my junior, the childhood in Communist Czechoslovakia that he experienced where the struggle to keep artistic freedoms and expression alive was a continual battle in the face of government censorship is the same as what was taking place when I left the country. These persecutions made Sis, many others and I to leave our country. Due the above reasons, the publishers felt I was better placed to write the review for them. Sis book is a graphic novel the presents the memoirs of Sis growing up in Communist Czechoslovakia during the cold war with dreams of living in America. It is a good read for children of ages between eight and twelve years as it presents them with the idea of things were in the cold war era. The book presents a journey that Sis takes the reader through with the aim of making them know what the situation was like to living through the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia during the Cold War era. This journey is a way of testing the boundaries of human existence under different political atmospheres (Kundera 137). Through a number of different elements within this story, the author allows his readers to understand the perspective of people growing up in Czechoslovakia during this period. The main frames in the text present on each page, illustrate the story of a talented child who loves drawing and the changes his life has to take during the Cold War period. To provide historical period for his work so that the reader gets the sense of what is happening in the larger context of the whole country, Sis includes dates and important information on the sides of each page. The dates indicated by Sis position the setting of the book as Cold War period of 1948 to 1989, which ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The date is also important for this book as it presents a link between the events happening in the author’s life to the historical context of the period. Further, the author includes in the book excerpts of his own journals that he wrote during the period he was still living in communist Czechoslovakia (Sis 19). Sis presents a personalized experience through captions, journal entries, and the story of a boy who whose passion is expressed through drawing. The boy presented in the book is given permission to draw anything he wants while at home. When he starts school, his drawings are restricted to what he is told to draw (Sis 19). The book shows how easy it is to brainwash children by making them report their parents to the authorities if they hear them say anything negative about the government. Growing up, Sis knows only this way of life but all changes when he discovered that there is a lot of interesting things out there such as the Beatles, rock ‘n roll music and Elvis Presley. These accounts presents the reader with what it is like to live under oppressive laws where one is denied fundamental freedoms and how it is when one gets a glimpse of Sis’ dreams to be free. The most effective means by which Sis communicates the tone of this graphic-novel is with color where black and white drawings combined the occasional splashes of communist red dominate the book. During the Prague Spring of 1968 when people began to experience improvements towards freedom of expression, the author chooses bright colors for
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