Disability and Belonging in Shaun Tan’s <em>The Lost Thing</em>
This essay looks at images of disability in Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. The character of the lost thing, lost inside a world that clearly will not let it belong, represents the unrepresentable, while the boy narrator displays subtle depictions of cognitive difference. The lost thing’s body is incomprehensible for the very reason that it is so unlike the bodies of others. Although it may be tempting to read the boy narrator as dispassionate or as too emotionally detached because of his involvement with this uniform world, the protagonist gladly assists his new friend. As a different kind of thinker, the boy also does not quite fit in his world, even as he is not entirely separate from it.