|Scooped by Dan Galvin|
INFORMATIONAL (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
This is a great text to introduce the throries of Karl Marx in as accesible a way as possible. Because of the complexity of the task of using Marxist theory to analyze texts, it will be important that ALL students have a firm grasp of the background knowledge of Marxist theory before advancing to the application of theory to literature. This text is therefore ideal for providing an engaging and accessible introduction to some very complex yet essential concepts.
Purpose / Levels of Meaning
The purpose is to explain the basic theories of Marxism through an accessible and entertaining format. The compexity, however, comes from an ambiguity about how the author feels about those theories, thus making it difficult to determine bias and thus reliability. The child character in the text serves as a stand-in for the reader as the cartoon-Marx explains it's theories. However, while portrayal of Marxism can be interpreted as extreme and violent, it is unclear how much of this portayal is a result of author's bias.
The structure presents visuals to accompany all text, but the interrelatedness of text and visuals vary. Some of the visuals are helpful in supporting understanding of text. A few of the more difficult passages of text, however, have very little in the way of visual scaffolds to understanding.
Language Conventionality and Clarity
The language is designed to be accessible, however many of the terms (i.e. commodities, fetishism, bourgeois) describe such complex concepts that the provided explanations and visuals may be inadequate to fully understand without additional explanation or instruction.
Many of the concepts referred to require an understanding of economics, history or social theory, much of which may need to be pre-assessed and pre-taught.
QUANTITATIVE MEASURES - Lexile 930
The efforts made by the author to present complex information in as accessible a manner has resulted in a much lower lexile score than would be assumed. The information is segmeneted by both smaller sentences as well as speech bubbles and panels, which makes the information easier to process. More complex terms are counterbalanced by simpler language, all of which reults in a lexile level consistent with the grade 4-5 complexity band, despite containing subject matter decidedly more complex.
This is a difficult text to place, due to the variety of ways in which the structure and author's choices work to make the text as accessible as possible. However, due to the knowledge demands and the presence of complex conceptual Tier III vocbulary, I believe that the text would be appropriate for the 11-CCR complexity band. Some of the concepts addressed in the text are often not encountered until college, and so the format is simply helpful scaffolding for what is, in reality, a very complex text.
Students provide an objective summary of this interpretation of the philosophy of Karl Marx wherein they analyze how the author's articulate the central ideas of nature of capital, value and exploitation and how those ideas interact and build on one another. [RI.11–12.2]