“Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer’s role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.”
-James Graham Ballard
J. G. Ballard‘s Empire of the Sun (1984) contains many themes that are based on his actual experiences growing up in Shanghai as a British foreigner, of which I focused on the themes of growing up and “war changes people.” Beforehand, I created posters that may have resembled propaganda from the time period, one for Communists and one for the First Worker’s and Peasant’s Army. My intentions were to create a sense of patriotism, which Jim feels not for the British, but towards the Japanese that showed kindness and compassion to and felt safe with. This may have had an effect on his childhood. The last three posters are a more direct approach, showing the changing of Jim Graham during his time spent as a captive of the Japanese, as he turns from an innocent, unsuspecting boy to a seasoned and independent man.
Pictures produced using Apple Preview and Pixlr (pixlr.com/editor).
The Chinese text literally translates to “the people help me, I help the people.”
The Chinese idiom literally translates to “hidden dragon, crouching tiger,” meaning “concealed power.”
This is Jim in the early parts of the book.
War can change people. This is Jim during, or after, the war.
Although unpredictable events such as war can change us, we must embrace these changes as we endure the process of growing up.
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“Empire of the Sun (1987).” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/title/tt0092965/mediaviewer/rm3900354560.
ChazKennedy. “Hammer and Sickle.” Imgur, Imgur, 24 June 2016, imgur.com/gallery/ikPdyPj.
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“Suppose America Gave a Proxy War in Syria and Nobody Came?” The Century Foundation, The Century Foundation, 26 Sept. 2016, tcf.org/content/report/suppose-america-gave-proxy-war-syria-nobody-came/.
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