Analyzing Political Cartoons 1

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Information about Analyzing Political Cartoons 1

Published on June 15, 2007

Author: Me_I


Analyzing Political Cartoons:  Analyzing Political Cartoons Analyzing Political Cartoons:  Analyzing Political Cartoons Symbols Words and Images Distorting Reality Stereotypes Background Knowledge Symbols: The Building Blocks of the Cartoon:  Symbols: The Building Blocks of the Cartoon Any drawing, object, or design that stands for something else such as a group of people, an object, an attitude, or an abstract idea Some symbols are famous such as the Uncle Sam figure that stands for the United States Symbols work as a kind of shorthand and make it possible to pack a great deal of meaning into a cartoon Words and Images:  Words and Images Words and Images work together in cartoons The visual components give the words their force Words are dependent on the visual elements for impact and significance Used as labels, sounds, or dialogue Distorting Reality:  Distorting Reality Cartoons DO NOT present a literal picture of reality Cartoonists are trying to make a point or influence our views on a topic They often exaggerate or understate sizes of objects, people, etc. These distortions can subtly bias the viewer’s judgment Stereotypes: Fair and Unfair:  Stereotypes: Fair and Unfair Stereotypes are an oversimplified view or image of an individual, group, or issue Used as a convenient shorthand The use of stereotypes can be insulting and often have a strong emotional impact Can be useful but often misleading and negative Background Knowledge: What you Need to Know:  Background Knowledge: What you Need to Know A certain level of knowledge is assumed on the part of the reader or viewer The cartoon is usually directed at a group that already understands something about the issue being addressed The use of myths and symbols from literature, pop culture, and other aspects of common culture are used as well Cartoons as Arguments, Stories, and Slogans:  Cartoons as Arguments, Stories, and Slogans Cartoons are first and foremost expressions of opinion Consider how well the cartoonist makes their case in expressing the opinion Analyzing all the elements of a cartoon helps to draw out the deeper meaning behind the images and words In-Class Activity:  In-Class Activity Homework (due 11/15) Choose your own cartoon to analyze and complete the questions for that cartoon using the information presented in class.

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