The Themes of 'Le Transperceneige' in its Graphic Novel and Film Adaptation - Snowpiercer

15 July 2023
The "Le Transperceneige" (Snowpiercer) graphic novel, created by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette, presents a captivating post-apocalyptic world. Set in a frozen wasteland after a global catastrophe, the graphic novel follows the surviving remnants of humanity onboard a perpetually moving train, the Snowpiercer, which serves as their only sanctuary and means of survival.

In 2013, South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho adapted the graphic novel into a critically acclaimed film, also titled "Snowpiercer." The film gained widespread attention and praise for its intense storytelling and social commentary.

While the film adaptation by Bong Joon-ho gained popularity, it is important to recognize that the graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" offers a story and themes that go far beyond the scope of the film, presenting a rich and expansive post-apocalyptic world worth exploring in depth.

Le Transperceneige novel snowpiercer

The creators of the graphic novel each brought their unique talents and perspectives to "Le Transperceneige."

Jacques Lob was a renowned French writer and comic book author, known for his contributions to popular series like "Superdupont" and "Blanche Epiphanie."

Benjamin Legrand, also a French writer, collaborated with Lob on various projects and shared a passion for science fiction and social commentary.

Jean-Marc Rochette, a French comic book artist, brought the visually striking and evocative illustrations to the graphic novel, capturing the desolate atmosphere and gritty realism of the post-apocalyptic world.

The graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" was originally published in France in 1982. It gained a cult following and received critical acclaim for its thought-provoking narrative and stunning artwork.

It was initially released as a three-volume series: "The Escape," "The Explorers," and "The Crossing." The graphic novel's publication was significant in the French comic book scene, as it pushed the boundaries of storytelling and tackled themes rarely explored in the medium at the time.

The significance of "Le Transperceneige" as a French graphic novel lies in its contribution to science fiction and climate change narratives.

Le Transperceneige novel themes

Expanding the Post-Apocalyptic World

The graphic novel delves into the consequences of the global catastrophe that left the world frozen, emphasizing the desolation and isolation of the survivors on the Snowpiercer.

It provides glimpses of the outside world through flashbacks and revelations, painting a broader picture of the devastation and serving as a reminder of what humanity has lost.

The novel vividly depicts the societal aspects and divisions onboard the Snowpiercer. It showcases the stark class divisions between the front and the rear of the train, highlighting the extreme disparities in living conditions, resources, and power. It closely explores the struggles of the oppressed lower class, their rebellion against the oppressive ruling class, and the complex dynamics that emerge within different social groups.

Le Transperceige presents intricate political, economic, and ecological systems within the train. It examines the authoritarian rule of the train's creator, Wilford, and the mechanisms through which he maintains control over the passengers. Readers can discern the economic hierarchy onboard, depicting the exploitation of the lower classes and the commodification of resources.

It raises ecological concerns and demonstrates the delicate balance required to sustain life on the train, touching upon issues of resource management, waste disposal, and the long-term sustainability of the closed ecosystem.

By slowly expanding the post-apocalyptic world beyond the confines of the train, examining societal divisions, and exploring the political, economic, and ecological systems, the graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" offers readers a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics and challenges faced by the survivors in their struggle for survival and justice.

snowpiercer novel themes

Legacy and Impact of Le Transperceneige

The film adaptation of "Le Transperceneige" directed by Bong Joon-ho garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success. It received positive reviews for its thought-provoking storytelling, powerful performances, and its ability to tackle social issues within the confines of a post-apocalyptic setting.

The film's unique blend of action, suspense, and social commentary appealed to audiences worldwide, contributing to its box office success.

The film adaptation received significant international recognition and numerous awards.

  • It won several prestigious awards, including the Grand Bell Award for Best Film and the Saturn Award for Best International Film.
  • The film was also nominated for various awards, such as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


In this discussion, we have explored the post-apocalyptic world of "Le Transperceneige" through a comparison of the graphic novel and its film adaptation. We discussed the background information, including the creators of the graphic novel and its publication history. We also examined the differences in plot, setting, character development, and themes between the two mediums.

It is clear that the graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" offers a more expansive and detailed story than the film adaptation. With its episodic nature, extensive world-building, and nuanced character development, the graphic novel goes beyond the film's scope, providing a deeper exploration of the post-apocalyptic world and its underlying themes.

It is crucial to appreciate both the film and graphic novel as distinct yet interconnected works. While the film adaptation by Bong Joon-ho gained popularity and brought wider attention to the story, the graphic novel's rich narrative and thought-provoking themes extend far beyond the film. Both works offer unique perspectives and contribute to the exploration of the post-apocalyptic world crafted by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
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Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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