Beatrix Potter an England born is the illustrator of one of the bestselling picture books - The tale of Peter Rabbit. The entire story revolves around the notorious Peter Rabbit, whose main characteristic is to create disturbance and showcase dis regard and disobedience to any kind of imposed rule or regulation. The entire story strings, humor, adventure and morale lesson together creating an exciting content for children. The book is a century old now, but still quite popular among children.
The story involves four rabbits - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter. MS Beatrix was successful in bringing the characters to life, coloring them with two significant contrasting colors giving them anthropomorphic personalities with quirky clothing style. The word choices made by the author provides the plot of the story with subtle humorous touches and complex storyline for the relevant audience. The rich English vocabulary is the children English literature needed at time of its publication.
The tale of Rabbit is distressing in a manner as well, the very first paragraph of the tale indicates that Mr. Rabbit was baked into a pie for entering into McGregor’s garden. This is a far brutal punishment for breaking and entering to be implicated on children’s mind. As soon as Mrs. Rabbit gives instructions to her little bunnies that McGregor’s garden is out of limits rather forbidden for them, Peter as his naughty character suggests had the urge to go over what his mother has just laid out. She has been warning them about McGregor since they could remember. Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail obediently followed what their mother has asked them to do, but however Peter goes to explore the forbidden garden despite the scary warning.
The adventure Peter had hoped to experience, turns into a suspenseful chase afterwards. An immediate decision of Peter to visit the garden he led himself into big trouble. He came across fresh lettuces and started enjoying them, completing his meal with some fresh French beans and radishes. Since he ate so much, he felt a tight stomachache, and wandered around the garden to look for parsley as a cure. As he was searching for something to bail out his pain, McGregor eye’s caught him while plucking cabbages. He lefty what he was doing and ran after him, shouting in an angry voice, “Stop Thief”. This creates tension in the entire scene and the tale of suspenseful chase begins.
Here, it is implicated that Peter is the sibling who falls into trouble by showing a certain disregard for the rules. He is disobedient compared to other siblings, hence why he keeps falling into trouble. As the chase begins, Peter gets confused where the garden’s exit was and started trembling with the thought about how his father died due to wandering around this same garden. In the panicked situation he lost his shoes during the chase even. One shoe got lost in the cabbages and the other near the potatoes. As he lost his shoes, he ran faster on his four legs to save his life, and in the rush his jacket gets stuck too as its buttons got caught in the gooseberry net.
Peter, started sobbing as he thought he had lost the fight and will encounter the same faith as his father. At that situation he was most certainly thinking of why he did not followed what his mother instructed him too, if only he had behaved like his other siblings, he would have been safe. His loud sobs were luckily heard by nearby sparrows, who helped him to get off the gooseberry net. In this process, this process the jacket was lost as well. Peter was without clothes and shoes which is not considered to be appropriate in Children’s book. Naked Peter was now being hunt by an angry gardener who had a sieve in his hand which could severely hurt the Peter Rabbit.
Peter now understands that now if he has to save his life, instead of running he has to hide somewhere. Therefore, he founds space in toolshed inside a can, but it has lot of water in it. McGregor, as an experienced gardener, was very sure of the fact that Peter was hiding in the toolshed. This is why he carefully begins to turn over the flower pots, trying to find Peter beneath them. As the search was on, Peter sneezed in the middle of it and caught McGregor’s attention. He tried to stamp Peter with his foot, but he put up a fight and saved himself by jumping out of the window tarnishing three plants. This particular part states that no matter what, Peter did not give up the opportunity to save himself and showcased quick thinking which will nurture the creative sides of the readers.
Next significant scene is where the rabbit finds a way to exit but the only problem was that McGregor was hoeing onions and the gate was beyond him. This meant that Peter has to run past him in a sneaky way to be safe and without getting into the eyesight of the gardener. He wasted a lot of time in finding a way out and he was neither helped by the mouse or the staring cat. Therefore, he gathered hope and courage and ran as fast as he could through the wheel barrow and luscious garden. His pace was caught by McGregor, but he could not do anything as Peter had already passed through the gate safe into the woods, running as fast as he could towards his family.
As he reached home, his mother was suspicious about his clothes, as they were not on him. She was wondering about what might have happened to him. Peter had lost his jacket and pair of shoes for two times in a fortnight. She understood that her son was not feeling well, and thus gave him some chamomile tea which apparently cures stomach ache. The other siblings were having bread, blackberries and milk for their supper instead as they were not disobedient as Peter,
The moral of the story is that greediness will led one down a path which will cause in numerous troubles which are not worth it in one’s lifetime. It establishes the fact for children, that you reap what you sow. Peter disobeyed the rules and faced consequences for it. Therefore, taking responsibilities for own action is highlighted in this children’s picture book. The greediness for good food made him sick in the end. This particular event depicts that one should not consume what is not earned by them or is not given to them. Just because he showed disregard for the rules and warnings given to him by his mother, he has to have medicinal chamomile tea whereas his brothers enjoyed a healthy meal. Therefore, this shows that there are rewards to follow disciplinary lifestyle instead of causing havoc through reckless actions.
The author Beatrix Potter, symbolized birds as in sparrows in her writing. She imagined the feeling of helplessness that Peter was feeling when he was stuck on the gooseberry net. The fact that sparrows came to help, shows how compassionate beings around us helps to face our problems and find solutions for them as well. The birds here acting like guiding spirits for the distressed peter rabbit to escape from McGregor’s forbidden garden.
Another scene where Peter comes across a little mouse who was unable to help him as he had food in his mouth. Seeing this Peter bursts into tears as he again felt hopelessness crippling into his mind. This highlights how one reacts when they feel frightened or trapped. The story in short details out the fact that one’s choice of actions has consecutive consequences which might be positive or negative depending on the integrity of actions. In the story Peter Rabbit, does everything that he was not supposed to do, which led him through the trouble of stomach ache, then losing his shoes, followed similarly with his jacket as well.
According to given poster, it is clearly indicated that Peter Rabbit would not have so much trouble if he had showed respect for the instructions provided to him by Mrs. Rabbit and behave as obedient as his siblings. The tool used to prepare this multimodal text was the software of Adobe Photoshop. I assembled certain pictures and clip arts together to re-create a poster for the story of the tale of Peter Rabbit. Multimodal texts uses semiotics to depict its meaning. In the given poster it can be seen that all the significant scenes has been illustrated which is creative art work of the author Beatrix Potter. Therefore, the multimodal text developed by me is expressing the true essence of the children’s picture book the tale of Peter Rabbit effectively.
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