Refresh And Leahoff: An Analysis Of Graphic Novels

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A graphic novel, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a full-length story published as a book in comic-strip format. Graphic novels are usually utilized to tell stories from the science fiction and fantasy genres. They can, however, be used to tell stories from other genres. In the case of Refresh, Refresh, Danica Novgorodoff utilized the form to capture a well-written short story about three boys and the struggles they face as their fathers go off to war with the Marines, originally written by Benjamin Percy. A graphic novel was a good choice in re-telling this story because it captured emotions you might not see by simply reading the story without imagery also telling the story. The three examples used will be: The fathers’ departure,…show more content…
The first is a fight that occurs in the beginning, when the Cody and Josh are simply fighting with boxing gloves on. This is, as far as this story is concerned, harmless fun for the boys. Cody started the fight club as a way to be ready to hurt those who hurt him, to honor his father. The second is a fight that occurs near the middle of the novel. The boys have become a little more violent, as they are getting a bit more bruised and battered. The third fight involves the boys hitting each other with sticks and heavy socks filled with coins. These three fights show a loss of innocence as the time becomes longer that their fathers are overseas. The fourth scene that portrays the war coming into the home front is shown when Corey Lightener shows up to Josh’s doorstep to give Josh the news of his father’s death. The loss of innocence has progressed so far that Josh immediately starts beating Lightener to a bloody pulp, and if that isn’t bad enough, Josh proceeds to tie him up and take him to a cliff to push him off of it. His buddies convince him not to, so he leaves him there to die. This scene depicts the true loss of innocence that has occurred throughout the novel. Josh went from an on edge kid who wanted to hear back from his father to a ragingly angered teen who wanted to kill the one person who could give him any news about his father. These are things we might not have picked up on simply…show more content…
We see these scenes after Josh has been told the news of his father’s death. He has just almost beaten Lightener to death, and now he sits in front of the military recruitment center, crushed by the loss of not only his father, but also his identity. Josh was going to go to college. Josh was the only boy who, in the whole story, did not show any interest in joining the military, and now he viewed it as his only option. All of the confusion and dismay can only be portrayed in a series of pages that confuse and possibly dismay the reader, and truly put the reader in Josh’s mind. This is how we find our way to the end when Josh makes his decision to join the military and finish his father’s duty at war. Through these pictures, although confusing and misleading, both Josh and the Reader gain a sense of clarity. It is a perfect way to tie the entire story to a
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