47 pages 1 hour read

Gene Luen Yang

Dragon Hoops

Nonfiction | Graphic Memoir | YA | Published in 2020

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Literary Devices


Atmosphere is created when an author uses objects, settings, or language that help readers better understand—and elicit the reader’s reaction surrounding—the characters, their circumstances, and their motives. As a graphic novel, Dragon Hoops uses atmosphere through both words and images. If the setting is a book’s physical location, atmosphere is the mood evoked in the reader by such a setting.

In tandem with his change of settings and temporal moments within the nonfiction memoir, Yang uses atmosphere in various ways. For example, Yang establishes an atmosphere of suspense by showing gymnasiums that are full of spectators. He shows the beads of sweat on the players’ faces as they are dribbling, shooting, or executing another play in the heat of the game. Next, he occasionally uses several comic panels to showcase one shot, such as in the final show from Coach Lou’s own high school championship game, in which the ball is shown bouncing around the rim in three discrete panels, two of which bear the words, “Klang!” and “THUNK” (40). Finally, Yang’s habit of peppering his comic panels with images of the scoreboard, including the time remaining in a given game, invites the readers into the gymnasium and causes them to invest themselves in the O’Dowd players as they read.

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By Gene Luen Yang

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Gene Luen Yang
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