'Thanksgiving And Isolation In Chris Ware's Thanksgiving'

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In his New Yorker cover series “Thanksgiving,” Chris Ware strings together an intricately woven plot out of the experiences of two protagonists who both feel isolated from the merrymaking of Thanksgiving. He sets a somber tone for this series by singling out his protagonists and eliciting feelings of disenchantment with the holiday. Ware introduces his protagonists as lonesome individuals. His first protagonist is the Old Man seen in the first installment “Stuffing.” Alone on a park bench, the Old Man watched families partake in Thanksgiving feasts through the windows of their illuminated apartments. In the second installment “Conversation,” Ware introduces his second protagonist, the Teenaged Girl. She sits in the bottom corner of the cover, separate and disengaged from her family. Ware presents commonalities between the two protagonists in “Conversation.” In this installment, there is an image of the Old Man as a young boy at his family’s Thanksgiving feast as well as an image of the Teenaged Girl at her family’s feast. These images are set in the same apartment, which is shown to be occupied by different families in different eras. The juxtaposition of these images shows how both protagonists share feelings of isolation and detachment from their respective…show more content…
Though the image at the top of “Conversation” at first seems to depict the “ideal Thanksgiving dinner,” where family members engage in conversation. A closer look suggests that that is not the case. The family members look distraught and the Old Man as a young boy looks secluded. With the backstory provided in the fifth installment “Leftovers,” it is known that the Old Man’s family crumbled after his brother died. Because the Old Man is presented as lonely and somber, it is clear he feels grief on Thanksgiving which he associates with his brother’s

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