The Arrival Summary
Shaun Tan

Everything you need to understand or teach The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

  • The Arrival Summary & Study Guide

The Arrival Overview

In this entirely wordless graphic novel, Tan constructs a fictional world that is both mythical and strangely realistic. The narrative follows the journey of an unnamed man, who bravely leaves behind his country in the hopes of building a better life both for himself and his family. Using the experiences of real immigrants as inspiration for the story, Tan accurately portrays the many challenges and even moments of despair immigrants face. As the man tirelessly works towards his goals in a strange and wholly unfamiliar setting, Tan explores the themes that come alone with the immigrant experience, including violence and oppression, alienation and displacement, culture and community, and hope and perseverance.