Brianna Dulock's peer review

1) What is the overarching interpretive claim/thesis of your peer’s paper?

"Walker, Brown, and the artist – Sanford Greene – use personification through supernatural elements, overlapping composition, and brave characters to embody racism as something physical. This conveys the horrifying truth of racism to the reader and expresses how to defeat racism."

In my own word: The personification, composition, brave character settings -> racism is physical -> racism is true + ways to defeat them.

2) Is the thesis statement a strong interpretive claim? Identify any criterion that could be stronger.

The thesis is not an evaluative claim, which is good. The thesis is opinionated and therefore reasonable. The thesis can be supported directly from the observations of the literary work. This is a very good thesis, but also an ambitious thesis because you have to explain two things: 1. racism is true, 2. the comics tell the reader how to defeat racism.

3) How does your peer use language to express the interpretive claims? Does the language seem too general or abstract? Too concrete and obvious?

The thesis is neither abstract and general nor obvious.

4) Read through the body paragraphs and identify statements that count as “evidence” for claims and reasons. Then identify statements that count as “explanation” for that evidence. Point out any areas in the paper where you would like to see additional explanation and say why it would help your reading to see more explanation.

Claim1: By Walker, Chuck and Green bringing supernatural elements into the comic, they make physical and personify the disturbing qualities of racism – demonic, deadly, and difficult to overcome. - 1: - Subclaim1: Throughout the comic, we see neon purple and green colors – colors often used when describing witchcraft and other supernatural elements. - Evidence1: From the first panel the purple and teal neon colors are used to signify the night – a time where evil is notorious for lurking. Then, the authors and artist bring in suspense and tension to keep the reader on edge. - Explanation1: What is lurking in the darkness? Who, or what, is attacking innocent civilians? These are immediate questions the reader asks themselves based on what is happening in the comic. Those questions and the supernatural lighting incite the possibility of something more sinister than a human at work. This subtle insinuation of some dark force being a problem throughout the rest of the comic more clearly describes the true nature of racism to the reader. - 2: - Evidence2: Taking a look at the second panel, the year is marked in the top left corner – 1924 in New York. - Explanation2: The 1920s in America was an exceptionally dark time when it came to racism, and the dark colors help embody that.

Claim2: Further into the comic the assailant terrorizing civilians is revealed to be a demon, the personification of racism. - 1: - Evidence1: Focus is shifted to an African American family who is actively trying to subdue these creatures and return them to their human form. - Explanation1: By the authors and artist making these humans into demons, racism is personified. - Significance1: The use of personification is especially important in this comic as it puts in the reader’s mind a physical idea of racism so as not to mistake it for anything other than what it is – a demonic and unhuman problem in America. Throughout the comic, it is made apparent that these demonic creatures are difficult to subdue. By personifying racism, the reader is able to understand that dismantling racism requires a lot of effort – it will not be an easy feat and requires teamwork.

Claim3: The composition of the comic itself also contributes greatly to expressing how demonic racism is. - 1: - Evidence1: In the fifth panel, the demon is seen reaching out over the page to draw the eyes of the reader to its massive size and power. - Explanation1: Throughout the comic, the artist and authors try to focus the reader’s eyes to where the demon is. This is accomplished by the framing – the demon appears to be bursting out of every frame it is in. This characteristic displays how difficult the demon is to subdue. By the composition expressing the magnitude and how difficult the demon is to subdue, the reader then sees how difficult racism is to dismantle without hard work and collaboration. Even without words and a description of the demon, the composition of the comics tells the reader all they need to know about how large and powerful the demon (and racism) is.

Claim4: The brave actions of the characters draw the readers into the family and the qualities they have that are necessary to defeat the demons. - 1: - Evidence1: The bravery is depicted through the family’s stern and striking expressions as well as their forward leaning movements when fighting, indicating they are ready for the challenge. - Explanation1: This is the kind of mindset the authors and artist are trying to get across to the reader – racism will not be defeated unless people are brave enough to stand against the oppressive system in place and work hard to make that defeat happen. The demon (racism) is big and difficult to subdue, however the characters remain strong, brave and ready to get work done. - 2: - Evidence2: Even though Ma Etta is hesitant to let her granddaughter fight in the field, each member of the family does the job necessary to actively subdue the demon as best as they can. - Explanation2: This signifies how everyone is able to do their part in dismantling the strong and grotesque truth of racism and that there are many different ways to work towards ending racism.

Claim4: in evidence1, you might need to point out a specific moment to support that characters are brave.

5) Where do you find places in the body paragraphs where evidence and explanation—the informational details—are sufficient? Where do you find places where evidence and explanation are not sufficient? Please mark these for your reader.

Claim1: Evidence2 doesn't seem to fit the topic sentence. Consider removing the phrase that let the reader think this is a piece of evidence such as "Taking a look at the second panel".

Claim2: Significance1 is not included in the topic sentence, but well tied to the thesis. Consider indicating such significance in your thesis?

6) To what extent are high priority statements located in visible places? Did your peer position key ideas in helpful ways so that you could find them where you expected them to be? Why or why not? (Expectation: Interpretive essays are typically thesis-driven essays with topic sentences, a claims-evidence-explanation argument structure, and a meaningful conclusion.)

The essay generally follows the structure of topic sentences, a claims-evidence-explanation argument structure, and a meaningful conclusion except for the following points:

In claim1: it is unclear to me whether the second sentence is the topic sentence or the first sentence. You might consider change the order or refine either of them.

7) Are quotations framed within the text, or is your peer guilty of committing a “hit & run” crime with quotations? Point out a quotation that could be framed a little better, and say why, in terms of connecting to the surrounding text.

The essay has no quotation. None of the evidence is cited by page number, which might be a bigger issue.

8) What did you learn from reading your peer’s paper that you believe might inform your own understanding of the task?

  1. Phrases like "Taking a look at the second panel" help the reader to identify the location of evidence.

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