Political Cartoon Analysis

By James Graham and Laura Cook

Sending Forth Another Dove (Political Cartoon 27)

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/herblock/images/hblock3.jpg


Publication date: May 13, 9141


Subject: World War II

Context: Beginning of WWII, prior to the entry of the United States


Symbolism:


  • Dove is Peace
  • The cannon is representative of the Axis' aggression towards those it conquers
  • The people loading the cannon are, (from bottom to top,) Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo

Exaggeration


  • The leaders loading the cannon are quite fat, due to their dubious morals and obvious villainy
  • The cannon is large to show how huge the aggression and the force of the axis assault

Labeling



  • The cannon is labeled as "Axis Peace Offensive" as a way of showing that the "peace" the axis is after is really just domination of weaker states

Irony



  • The cannon is labeled as a method of peace
  • A peaceful dove is a projectile. (Doves are not commonly used as ammunition)


Purpose of Cartoon: To show the aggression of Axis leaders and their desire for domination in the name of "Peace". The secondary purpose was to convince the American (*Eagle Scream*) people the need for America (*Terrorism Punch*) to join the war.





Independence Day-The Glorious Fourth! (Political Cartoon 93)

Publication date: June 30th, 1978


Subject: The representation of the District of Columbia in Congress and the Senate

Context: Late 70's, the civil rights movement was just out of it's peak


Symbolism:


  • The suitcases of the government officials are covered in travel stamps to show how they aren't from Washington D.C.


Exaggeration


  • The government officials are kinda fat to show their pompousness
  • The crowd is really large to show the amount of support the cause has


Purpose of Cartoon: To show the irony of the politicians making laws for people who have no say in who is elected.

Crime And Punishment (Political Cartoon 121)

Publication date: November 5, 1999


Subject: Crack Cocaine Sentence Length

Context: Turn of the century 2000, the tail end of the "crack" scare


Symbolism:


  • All the prisoners look the same, regardless of their sentences
  • All of the guards look the same, no matter what the prisoner's sentences are


Exaggeration


  • The prison looks very heavily guarded, almost overly so.


Irony


  • The prisoner jailed for killing another person has a lesser sentence for a "worse" crime.


Purpose of Cartoon: To express the artist's disapproval of the drug enforcement in the United States.