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Visual Elements

Grade 8
Sep 1, 2022

Elizabeth Stanley’s The Deliverance of the Dancing Bears is a beautifully written and drawn novel. The book is a reaction to the cruelty shown to dancing bears in places like Greece and Turkey. Stanley expertly portrays her personal feelings through the imaginative use of line, position, and color. The graphics not only assist the reader in visualizing what the author is trying to convey, but they also provide depth to the story in a manner that language alone cannot. 

Including visual or auditory aspects in a piece of writing can aid comprehension and keep readers engaged. Let us learn how visual elements help to clarify content, communicate tone, and enhance imagery in a text concerning Elizabeth Stanley’s The Deliverance of the Dancing Bears

Stanley’s use of line is notable in her distinct artistic style. Lines can direct the reader’s attention to what the author perceives to be the most essential aspect of the image. Stanley, for example, employs lines to emphasize the prison bars in her illustrations. Lines can also be a statement of confinement or exclusion in this scenario. Her distinct style also employs lines to create depth of color and movement. This is especially evident in her depiction of the bear’s nightmares. Lines provide the appearance of movement, which draws the reader into the story and makes the dreams seem ‘real.’ 

Color can add dimension to images and convey emotion to a reader. Warm colors, for example, can be used to communicate enjoyment or contentment, whereas cool colors can be used to express serenity. In her illustrations, Stanley employs both of these styles. This is clear in her depiction of the bear’s shift from her threatening confinement in a crowded Turkish bazaar to the calm home of the old man who saves her. The marketplace is painted in bright, chaotic colors to convey confusion to the reader, whereas the elderly man’s home is painted in cool colors to convey serenity and quiet. 

Within the text, illustrations, space, and points of view are commonly used to express meaning. Stanley frequently depicts the bear in her cage with the reader behind or beside her. As a result, readers are forced to empathize with the bear’s character because they see the event through her eyes. Using these techniques, Stanley also represented the bear’s cramped living quarters. Stanley, on the other hand, uses point of view to emphasize space in her new home when she is rescued. In this fashion, the author created a contrast between the text’s two primary contexts. The paucity of room early in the text communicates confinement, whereas the reader’s position in the illustrations of the old man’s home communicates freedom. Furthermore, the usage of point of view early in the text demonstrates to the reader that the author sympathizes with the bear and expresses her feelings on the subject. 


When reading the text, it becomes evident that the story mainly relies on visual components to convey emotion, depth, and theme to the reader. The author portrays essential concepts, such as the shift between captivity and freedom, mostly through the use of color, line, space, and point of view. These aspects are also crucial in conveying the author’s personal thoughts about the subject. The Deliverance of the Dancing Bear is an excellent illustration of how these strategies might be used in children’s fiction. 



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