The Gods are angry

Herb Block, 12 April 1981

Cartoon Analysis

  • Speaker: Herb Block

  • Subject: Economic Inequality

  • Audience: American public along with the readers of the Washington Post

  • Context: The government is supporting the wealthy over the general public/poor.

  • Symbolism: The government represents Zeus who is all powerful. The wealthy represent the minor gods. And the public represent the mortals.

  • Exaggeration: The mortals are portrayed as tiny and weak and the wealthy are portrayed as self-indulgent people.

  • Labeling: Mortals-Social Programs for the Non-Wealthy, Minor Gods- Welfare for the Wealthy, Zeus- Administration Budget

  • Analogy: This political cartoon alludes to the Greek mythology.

  • Irony: The welfare is going to the wealthy instead of the non-wealthy who actually need it.

  • Purpose: To tell the American public that the government is only serving the wealthy.