The Penguin Project: Initial Ideas.

Norwegian Wood has many themes to its content. There is love, lust, sex, anger, depression, suicide and slight gestures of humour. I am deciding to focus on the most memorable metaphorical imagery in the book.

Suicide was a strong theme in this book, as a total of 4 suicides take place. There was a lot of love/ heart break in the book, as well as ‘casual sex’. There was also a strong presence of false hope, searching for a way out or an answer to solve all of Toru Watanabe’s worries and issues.

Some imagery in the book offered which I found left a mark was:

  • Firefly dimmed light: Loss of hope
  • Trees : Life/ End of life
  • Journeys: Escapism
  • Rain: Depression/ Sadness

Therefore, I would like to attempt to represent this imagery in my outcome.

My initial thoughts when I read about the book being Japanese was the possibility of approaching it in a manga/ anime traditional style to offer that link to Japan/ Tokyo. This is because I’d like to offer the reader a sense of place, to almost feel like they are looking at the world that this story took place, to create more attachment between the characters and reader.

Although, as it is an adult book manga won’t relate to a wide audience as manga is primarily popular with young adults (age 16 to 21). Although, I still wish to catch attention from readers of this age demographic, so I would like to attempt to link a manga style into a semi-realistic style to capture the attention of a grander range of the public.

I would also like it to have captivating colours to gain more attention. I believe the primary colour I wish to use will be red. This is due to its representation of love, passion, anger, and evil. This is basically the premise of plots/ plot twists within the book.

I also want to try making cover to be quite provocative, to open discussion and to grab more attention from readers.

I also have an idea of how to represent the 6 deaths in the book metaphorically, being 6 tree stumps surrounding one tall standing tree. The tall standing tree representing Toru being in the middle of these events.

Rough sketch:

I also added a zebra crossing to reference the books references to The Beetles, being that a photo of the beetles walking on a zebra crossing was one of the most iconic photos taken of them.

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