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Bunnista the Brave: The Power of Personification in Prose PRE-DRAFT!

kcweiler20's picture

P1: Intro

              Thesis: By personifying the issues highlighted in the work and creating tangible heroes and villains in 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial, this graphic novel is accessible and evokes sentiment from readers. This, ultimately, makes it more successful at relaying the dangers of global warming to those who read it than the essay “The Collapse of Western Civilization,” which fails to do these things.

P2: Personification of issues/tangible subjects (characters) evoking sentiment in 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial

              -Hero: Bunnista

              -Victims: Polar bears, animals in testing center

              -Villain: President/Corporate dudes

P3: Why this makes it more effective than COWC, which does not use this technique

              -Hero: Bunnista

                             50 Things:

-“I’ve got ideas. I’ve got ideas.” (Jensen and McMillan, 100)

-“I never forgot you for a single second” (121)

-Exchange on 102: Bunnista’s a cutie! Who wouldn’t love such a cuddly little one-eyed bunny, even if he blows things up?

              -Victims: Polar bears – specific example of something mentioned in both, quite differently

50 Things: “I won’t cry any more about the frog species going extinct, or the polar bears swimming through the ocean to ice that’s no longer there?” (Jensen and McMillan, 47)

              -evokes sentiment: reader feels bad for polar bear, which is obviously suffering

Lab animals –

              -rat and sister “I can’t leave her” (123)

              -rat and killed friend

              -mama bear and baby bear

              -all the one-eyed bunnies

COWC: “By 2060, the Arctic summer ice was completely gone. Scores of species perished, including the iconic polar bear—The Dodo bird of the twenty-first century.” (Conway and Oreskes, 28)

-more scholarly representation of same idea: by using non-descriptive, apathetic language, loses all possibility of sentimentality

              -Villain: President/Corporate dudes

50 Things: “Cutting into corporate profits is terrorism, pure and simple.” (106)

“Ed, WE are supposed to get all the trees and fish. How are we supposed to make money if the aliens get them all first?” (84)

Constant hugging of gold, small subtleties (money tie, maid fiasco, things written on desk)

-makes it clear that these people are the problem; evokes hate in readers, rallies support for hero

COWC: “When sea level began to threaten coastal areas, China rapidly build new inland cities and villages and relocated more than 250 million people to higher, safer ground. The relocation was not easy…nonetheless, survival rates exceeded 80 percent” (51)

-in the end, the government saves the day; authors put aside the fact that they caused the problem in the first place, makes the wrong people the heroes, weak argument to readers

P4: Protagonists/antagonists/rhetoric as tool of accessibility in As the World Burns and why this makes ATWB > COWC

              50 Things:

-Visuals of Bunnista (supah cute, pure) vs. tortured animals (crude drawings, descriptions)

-Bunnista’s determination, vulnerability as symbolism for what humans should be doing

-accessible language, characters make the novel more suitable for a wider age range (you don’t need a PhD to be able to appreciate it)


-“Physical scientists who spoke out about the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change…correspondence” (11)

-Portrays scientists who try to save earth as useless, hated, uses no specific examples of displaced individuals…doesn’t give readers sentimental tie to any humans affected

-use of technical language, dense concepts make essay less likely to be picked up by those who should really be reading it

-using a vague group as the bad guys makes it less accessible, less clear for readers to realize who is at fault

P6: Closing

              This is where Kate closes the essay; bring in graphic novel stigma, classic championing of academic works such as COWC, and how these two works change that conversation.

Works Cited

Conway, Erik M. and Naomi Oreskes. The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future. Columbia University Press, 2014.

Jensen, Derrick, and Stephanie McMillan. As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial. Seven Stories Press, 2007.