Monstrous emotions : an examination of emotional content in a picturebook in translation
Research suggests that the ways in which people perceive, communicate, respond to, and control their emotions are influenced by the larger emotion cultures in which they are raised. This thesis uses a Spanish picturebook (El monstruo de colores, written and illustrated by Anna Llenas) and its 2018 translation into English for a North American audience (The Color Monster: A Story about Emotions) as a forum for exploring the connection between culture and emotion. Focusing on three emotions –
... hree emotions – happiness, anger, and fear – I perform a close reading of the emotional content communicated in each of the selected texts through the illustrations, words, and word-image interactions. Drawing from the work of Molly Bang (Picture This: How Picturebooks Work) and Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen (Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design), I examine what the composition and design of Llenas's illustrations convey about emotions. Utilizing concepts from translation theory and picturebook studies, I then look at how the emotional impact of words is different between the source text and translated text and how these differences influence the word-image relationships present in the texts. The findings of this project reflect two different philosophies, perhaps informed by larger emotion cultures, about how to respond to and control negative emotions like anger and fear. Furthermore, the findings reveal a need to consider the synergy between pictures and words when translating picturebooks for a target culture.