Date: Mar 9, 2018
Category: Book Review Essay
IntroductionThis is a book written by Larry Gonick who is a professor and a mathematician. The cartoon history of the Universe mainly focuses on issues associated with the development the world has undergone over a period. Cartoon history of the Universe is a book illustrated and written by a mathematician by the name of Larry Gonick about the history of the world. Larry Gonick is a renowned professor and cartoonist in America and is a very influential author of the 21st century since his books tackle some of the issues affecting the modern world at large. In the book, Larry talks of how the world has changed in a loose chronological order. Initially the author mainly focused on publishing his book under comic columns but now it has been made to take a complete cover of trade paperbacks going for more than hundred pages each. Another thing that has made the book to gain fame is the fact that it has been translated in several languages such as Portuguese and polish among other languages (Jerry, 2010).
Relation between Nomads, Peasants and those SettledThe illustration between the central state, lords and peasants is depicted through looking at how they have undergone development in the past years to date. There was some fight for the balance of power between the nomads and the inhabitants of the steppe and those in the forest. The conquest by nomads left its mark on the Russian soul, mythology and literature and this means that it has also left behind rich administrative and other records of the functioning of nomad society. In the cartoon history it is not merely the Russian background that is relevant but also the background of other communities and this is what brings the relation between the nomads and the peasants. Another relation between the nomads and the peasants that is portrayed by the cartoon history is how the thoughts of the nineteenth century were being incorporated in taking actions and so on. The way nomads and settled people make their decisions also matters a lot because nomads tend to think and act in a very backward way as compared to the settled ones. The direction of change in the society is also viewed in a very different perspective by those people who are settled and the nomads. The illustrations that depict the relations between these groups are such as how social theory and anthropology was brought about and how functionalism was to be found. Some other illustrations are such as the introduction of education since there were new schools built. I agree with the ideas depicted in the book since they contributed a lot to development in the modern world (Jerry, 2010). The book consists of different topics associated with the development that humans have undergone in the previous years to what is there in the modern world. The styles that the author of Cartoon History has used make the book more interesting and easy to understand in all possible ways. Gonick uses styles that bring out the information in the book very clear for anyone to understand (Gonick, 2006). In order for him to bring his discussions out clearly, Gonick uses a very interesting illustration style, which entails drawing techniques that are realistic, and he does it in a very simple way. He mainly uses simple drawings that are cross-hatching and he does it with a lively ink-and –brush, which resembles the works of Walt Kelly’s Pogo and Calvin and Hobbes of Bill Watson. When he focused on the history of the invasion of Italy of (390 BCE-387 BCE), the characters that he brings out seemed to be having similarities with those of Asterix and Obelix. This illustration style is very influential because it makes it easy for him to explain his ideas clearly and it also makes it easy for the reader to understand what is being written by him. There are people who understand information better, through pictorial drawings thus, when Gonick uses this kind of illustration style, he is able to reach his audience and attract their attention. Through this kind of illustration style, his message is depicted in a very different and comprehensive way because it is very explicit. In each chapter of his book, Gonick starts with an introduction of what is going to be discussed and this is also very influential because it ensures that the reader understand the information clearly and has a clue of what is being discussed in the book. Through this narrative framework Gonick is also able to travel to whichever place or which era he wants because his discussions are complex and do not just focus on a given period. The book brings out both historical issues that have been affecting the world and their current situations. The narrative style and note that Gonick uses is also very influential because he does it in a way that the viewer wants to be associated with it. Anytime an author writes a book, he always ensures that it has a specified point of view that both he and the reader should base their arguments on and this means that the author is also categorized somewhere in the society according to the topic that he has chosen for discussion. Although his topics are complex, Gonick can be described as a humanist since his topics of discussion mainly dwells within that category. His point of view is mainly surrounded by humanistic ideas, which are natural and easy for anyone to understand. This point of view makes the ideas to be viewed in a better way and that is the reason as to why naturalistic presuppositions govern his cartoon history even though it is not being written in styles found in didactic textbooks. Since Gonick is a professor, almost all his ideas in the book are backed up by research since they mainly focus on peculiar details. According to Gonick (Gonick, 2002), it is very important to look at the achievements that human beings in the world have had since the introduction of modern technology. Discussing about the achievements of humans entails looking at what they have undergone as far as development is concerned and this means that all the little details pertaining human development is being discussed. Gonick has used a lot of juxtaposition and satire to bring out his ideas and these elements makes all the situations discussed in book very important. One of the best examples of humor as indicated in the book is when a cartoon is used to depict how some groups of elephants were being herded off a mountain cliff for the aggressive enjoyment of the Huns. Humor is also used to depict post-modern views of different situations in the modern world. The tone that Gonick uses in his writing is consistently enthusiastic and this also makes the book more captivating for the reader and the collections of bibliography that gets promotes historical literacy of the world. Through using this unorthodox style, Gonick is able to make his readers take a tour through his sources for better understanding of the concepts.
Impacts of the Cartoon HistoryThe cartoon history has been very influential because it has ensured that readers have understood the relationship existing between the present and the past and their causes and effects. Looking at how the past relates to the present is very important since through this is when one is able to predict the changes that would be there in the future. The story also explains how motivated human beings have been in the past and in the modern world and this is done through looking at the discoveries and inventions made by them. One of the greatest inventions that human beings have had since the past is the invention of the modern technology (Gonick, 2009). Modern technology has really changed a lot making life quite easier since it has affected the sectors of transport and communication in a positive way. Modes of transport have greatly improved in the modern world and this means that people can travel greater distances at a considerable time as compared to the historical days. The sectors of communication have also been improved greatly because it is very easy to communicate with people from different parts of the world within seconds no matter how long the distance could be (Gonick, 2002). The cartoon history has also been very influential in a way that it helps the reader to understand the dangers of the rapidly increasing levels of technology in the modern world. It also raises the expectations that humans have towards innovations and inventions and this is done through bringing the comparison of the level of innovations in the previous decades and in the modern world. According to Gonick, every point of view should be given justice since it can also contribute a lot to development of humans. Even though most of his ideas are based on historical revisionism, Gonick has brought it possible to see the positive development that human beings have undergone since the past decades to date (Gonick, 1990).
ConclusionFinally, the Cartoon history brings out deeper explanations of what is covered in evolutionary science, astronomy and other parts of ancient history. The history has also brought comparison between subjects in different cultural writings and Holy Scriptures in the previous years with those in the modern world and this becomes easy for the readers to be convinced with his ideas in his book.