Analyzing Political Cartoons What is a political cartoon
- Slides: 28
Analyzing Political Cartoons • What is a political cartoon? – Interpretive drawing, sometimes with words, that convey an idea or message about a current issue, event, or problem. – Are simple, usually black and white, graphic depictions of a news story or event. – Portray people’s attitudes about a problem or issue.
Common characteristics for a good political cartoon: • Wit and humor obtained by exaggeration not just for comic effect but to send a message about the character. • The cartoon must have a foundation in truth (characters should be recognizable to the viewer and the main point of the drawing must have a basis in fact, even if it conveys a philosophical or ideological bias. • The cartoon should have a moral purpose. In other words, the cartoon should provide opportunities to inform the viewer about an issue and allow for critical thinking (supporting OR refuting the cartoonist’s message. )
Symbolism • Cartoonists use simple objects, or symbols, to stand for larger concepts or ideas. • After you identify the symbols in a cartoon, think about what the cartoonist intends each symbol to stand for.
Exaggeration • Sometimes cartoonists overdo, or exaggerate, the physical characteristics of people or things in order to make a point. • When you study a cartoon, look for any characteristics that seem overdone or overblown. (Facial characteristics and clothing are some of the most commonly exaggerated characteristics. ) Then, try to decide what point the cartoonist was trying to make through exaggeration.
Labeling • Cartoonists often label objects or people to make it clear exactly what they stand for. • Watch out for the different labels that appear in a cartoon, and ask yourself why the cartoonist chose to label that particular person or object. Does the label make the meaning of the object more clear?
Analogy • An analogy is a comparison between two unlike things that share some characteristics. By comparing a complex issue or situation with a more familiar one, cartoonists can help their readers see it in a different light. • After you’ve studied a cartoon for a while, try to decide what the cartoon’s main analogy is. What two situations does the cartoon compare? Once you understand the main analogy, decide if this comparison makes the cartoonist’s point more clear to you
Irony • Irony is the difference between the ways things are and the way things should be, or the way things are expected to be. Cartoonists often use irony to express their opinion on an issue. • When you look at a cartoon, see if you can find any irony in the situation the cartoon depicts. If you can, think about what point the irony might be intended to emphasize. Does the irony help the cartoonist express his or her opinion more effectively?
The Gilded Age A Satirical View …featuring Thomas Nast Created by Mr. Steve Hauprich for the acceleration and remediation of US History Students.
While it was Mark Twain who coined the phrase “gilded age” to define the late 19 th Century… it was Thomas Nast who mastered another genre of satire…helping to bring readers hope of a better American society…
Thomas Nast … … was arguably America’s greatest political cartoonist.
Thomas Nast… was responsible for exposing political realities …such as Government fraud, deceit, & corruption…
…it was Nast who popularized the use of the Elephant for the Republicans and the Donkey for Democrats
Nast’s portrayals of …corruption involving Boss Tweed and his Tammany Hall political machine… …show sophisticated political satire could motivate needed reform
Tammany Hall …the NY City Democratic Political Machine …was often shown as a Tiger… …here showing support for Grover Cleveland
This Nast cartoon… …from 1876 shows concern over the great political and economic issue of Gilded Age… …what kind of currency would benefit the USA most?
Nast opposed …racism and hypocrisy …he was an important champion of people who were abused and neglected at the bottom of US society
Nast gave Americans a cartoon Uncle Sam to represent the US Government…top hat, tux, tails
Thomas Nast …not only popularized caricatures for political themes… …he is given credit for making the image of Santa Claus very recognizable to most Americans
Why would Nast …make fun of Mark Twain ? Was Thomas Nast …popular regionally or nationally? Was Thomas Nast …political or non-partisan ?
Although Thomas Nast fought prejudice against some groups…this cartoon tells another story…
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