Saad Turki Al Dosari
3 min readMay 2, 2021

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The Gigantic Beard that was Evil: A fiction Story or A Social Document

Graphic novels have mostly been written for exciting fiction stories rather than being used as a tool to unveil the serious themes related to the society. Stephen Collins gave a new trend to use graphic novels for expressing serious themes but in a fairly simple manner. I really like the novel and its story as it is very thrilling because the author maintained a curiosity throughout the story. Another strong feature was its artwork that portrayed the scenario with beautiful black and white pictures. The plot is very strong and the events are arranged in a manner that holds the readers glued all the time.

The best part of the novel is that the underlying themes of serious nature are presented in a comical and light manner. The main objective of the writer is to unleash the flaws in social organization that give way to evil for spoiling the peace and order in a society. A simple story of a common man, Dave, turns into a horrific tale of panic and fear when a single hair on his face turned into an uncontrollable beard. “It was feeling that perhaps one bright blue day, the whole tidy World of Here, could just collapse.”

It shows that evil is always there in our society that could strike anytime and turn the table. Collins seems to be arguing that evil was everywhere as it has “No Boundaries”.

Collins has been critical of our social behaviour throughout the story. He says that everyone is afraid of facing evil but this evil resides somewhere deep in themselves. We ignore this fact and try to blame others whether they are guilty or innocent.

“And with change came fear,

And with fear came blame,

They should get rid of him,

He’s best off dead.”

The author has made good use of symbolism to convey strong lessons for life. The beard is used as the main symbol which I feel that it was an evil that is always inside the man and it comes out when it gets a chance. “ It was beneath the skin of thing”. It means it was present there even when there were no signs of it. The reaction of people shows the norms applicable in our society as we deplore the people who are in trouble or who are different from us. Same is the case with ADHD people as we look them down just because they don’t look like us.

In short, the novel teaches about the bitter fact that we have to fight with internal and external evil that could spoil our life and peace of others. At the same time we have to change our attitude towards evil, and try to identify our own evil before we raise fingers towards anyone else.

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