Analyzing Political Cartoons

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Information about Analyzing Political Cartoons
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Published on June 15, 2007

Author: Me_I

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Analyzing Political Cartoons:  Analyzing Political Cartoons Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution Part 1: Exaggeration:  Part 1: Exaggeration This activity walks you through an analysis of this cartoon, then asks you to use what you’ve seen in one cartoon to generalize about how political cartoons lampoon people or situations. 1. Start by looking at the visual elements of the cartoon. Who are the two men pictured? The drawings of the two men are not realistic. In what ways are they distorted? Why did the cartoonist choose to distort them in that way?:  1. Start by looking at the visual elements of the cartoon. Who are the two men pictured? The drawings of the two men are not realistic. In what ways are they distorted? Why did the cartoonist choose to distort them in that way? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 2. Read the text. What is Cheney referring to? What is inappropriate about Bush’s answer? What does the answer imply about Bush?:  2. Read the text. What is Cheney referring to? What is inappropriate about Bush’s answer? What does the answer imply about Bush? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 3. What do you need to know in order to understand the cartoon? What makes this cartoon funny?:  3. What do you need to know in order to understand the cartoon? What makes this cartoon funny? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 4. This cartoon mocks George W. Bush. Use the analysis you completed in question 1 of this activity to identify two techniques the cartoonist uses to attack Bush.:  4. This cartoon mocks George W. Bush. Use the analysis you completed in question 1 of this activity to identify two techniques the cartoonist uses to attack Bush. Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution Part 2: Irony:  Part 2: Irony Another method cartoonists use to convey a message is irony. Irony refers to a situation in which the outcome is the opposite of what you expected, or when something means the opposite of what was intended. For example, an animal-rights activist wearing leather shoes is ironic because leather comes from animals, and you wouldn’t expect an animal-rights activist to use leather. 5. You have already learned how to look closely at pictures and words. Use these skills with this cartoon. List the details in the pictures that you need to recognize in order to understand the cartoon.:  5. You have already learned how to look closely at pictures and words. Use these skills with this cartoon. List the details in the pictures that you need to recognize in order to understand the cartoon. Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 6. There are two frames in this cartoon. What happens in the first frame? What happens in the second frame, and how is it ironic?:  6. There are two frames in this cartoon. What happens in the first frame? What happens in the second frame, and how is it ironic? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 7. What do you need to know about current issues to fully appreciate the irony in this cartoon?:  7. What do you need to know about current issues to fully appreciate the irony in this cartoon? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution Slide11:  8. The cartoonist wants to make you laugh but also wants to convey a social and political message. What is the cartoonist’s opinion about videogames? What does the cartoonist believe about the role the government should play regarding videogames? Part 3: Juxtaposition:  Part 3: Juxtaposition Sometimes cartoonists make their points by putting together two people, two situations or two ideas that don’t belong together. For example, in the Oct. 16, 2000 issue of Newsweek, a cartoon shows Al Gore making campaign promises to a child who is trick-or-treating at his house. The source of the humor is that a campaign speech and Halloween are not two ideas that go together. 9. Look closely at the picture. What information do you get from it?:  9. Look closely at the picture. What information do you get from it? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 10. What does Gore’s speech refer to? What do you need to know to understand this cartoon? How would you explain the humor to someone who is unaware of the allusion?:  10. What does Gore’s speech refer to? What do you need to know to understand this cartoon? How would you explain the humor to someone who is unaware of the allusion? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 11. What makes the cartoon funny? How is the source of humor different from the previous cartoon, which used irony?:  11. What makes the cartoon funny? How is the source of humor different from the previous cartoon, which used irony? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 12. In a small group, brainstorm a list of people and events in the news. Working on your own, choose two items on the list and develop a political cartoon that juxtaposes them. Share your cartoon with your small group.:  12. In a small group, brainstorm a list of people and events in the news. Working on your own, choose two items on the list and develop a political cartoon that juxtaposes them. Share your cartoon with your small group. Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution Part 4: Synthesizing What You Have Learned:  Part 4: Synthesizing What You Have Learned In this activity, you will have an opportunity to use the skills and insights you’ve developed to create a framework for analyzing political cartoons. 13. Who is pictured in the cartoon? Where is he? What is he doing? What is he saying?:  13. Who is pictured in the cartoon? Where is he? What is he doing? What is he saying? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 14. What does the fish represent? What’s ironic about this fish? What is ironic about what the man says about the fish?:  14. What does the fish represent? What’s ironic about this fish? What is ironic about what the man says about the fish? Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution 15. Write a paragraph that explains the cartoon.:  15. Write a paragraph that explains the cartoon. Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Constitution Slide21:  16. Now that you have analyzed four cartoons, you know what is involved in 'reading' a political cartoon. Working with a partner, develop a step-by-step list of directions that you could give to younger students so they would be able to analyze a cartoon as you have. Your list can either take the form of instructions or be a series of questions that take them through the process.

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