“Chapter 14: Nooses”
The graphic novel “Battle Lines”, written by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Ari Kelman, portrays events of the Pre-Civil War, Civil War, and the Reconstruction time period. In chapter 14, the information provided is based on events during the Reconstruction era, such as the newly added amendments and the Colfax Courthouse massacre. The depiction of the illustrations within the graphic novel helps build a solid foundation for the historical content and helps the reader grasp what is being conveyed within them.
The Civil War was fought during 1861 to 1865 between two groups know as the Union and the Confederacy. The Union was based on an anti-slavery platform, as opposed to the Confederacy, which believed that slavery and states’ rights should be preserved. The Union came out victorious, which meant that the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were going to be put into effect. ...view middle of the document...
Supporters of the Confederacy could not bear to accept the fact that African Americans were going to be granted so much “freedom”. Because of the failure to acknowledge the amendments, white supremacists created the Ku Klux Klan and other racial confederate groups.
Although the Union won with effort to abolish slavery, the Confederate’s still pushed the ways of slavery and “old South” values. The thoughts of those who were in favor of the Confederacy remained the same, and the war was not going to change that. Many could say those who supported the Confederacy were in denial, and a “victory” over them was not going to alter their mindset. The Union was victorious of the war and the war only.
The use of illustrations allows the reader to be apart of the time period as they are able to visualize important events and make better sense of them. In the chapter, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is illustrated which helps someone who may not be well aware of the KKK and the things they did, and it paints a visual image of the group on how they dressed and the actions they took part of. Another example would be the massacre after the burning of the Colfax Courthouse. The dead bodies along the roadside, and the African Americans that were hanging from the tree show how people were brutally murdered. It illustrates the wrong doing of white people, and how they went unpunished.
The graphic novel deepens the understanding of the reader by allowing them to paint a more vivid visual image in their head because they are able to bring the images that the authors are portraying to life. The illustrations give a better understanding of the concept as well as having a stronger influence on the reader, whether it is negative or positive. In this particular chapter, I feel that the illustrations allow for a deeper connection with the reader. Not only is detail given through the illustrations, but also an atmosphere is created allowing the reader to be put in the shoes of those during the Reconstruction time period. It allows the reader to understand the disturbing events in a way in which words alone cannot describe.