Political Cartoon Example

English I

Cartoon Analysis

Techniques

Explain the...

Main Idea, Satire, and What techniques the artist used.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 clearer?

4. 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.

5. 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.