Political Cartoon Anaylsis

By Lauren Johnson and Kari Lowell

Analysis

32. "Albert Einstein lived here"

Published: April 19th, 1955

Subject - Albert Einstein

Context - Albert Einstein was the greatest scientist in the 20th century. He died in April 18th, 1955, which was the day before the publication of this cartoon.

Techniques:

  • Labeling- In this cartoon, Earth is literally labeled as Einstein's Home. This exemplifies the significance of Einstein's life and the differences he made to the world. Because, Einstein's contributions made such an enormous impact, the Earth was labeled with the boasting comment that "Albert Einstein lived here."
Purpose: The purpose of this cartoon was to illustrate Einstein's importance.


48. "On this order for a new typewriter ribbon -- did you know you forgot to stamp 'Secret'?"

Published: July 25, 1956
Subject- Government secrets
Context- Prior to the publication of this cartoon, a congressional committee had just reported that "a million people in the government... can wield secrecy stamps." This announcement agitated the public and raised public suspicion.
Techniques:
  • Symbolism- The seated man in the suit represents the United States government in general.
  • Exaggeration- This cartoon exaggerates what the government keeps secret. Although they may be withholding an enormous amount of information from the public, it is safe to assume that they don't actually censor things like their tissues or lunch bags.

Purpose: To propose that the amount of information the government keeps secret is absurd

88. "... One nation ... indivisible ...,"

Published: February 22, 1977
Subject:
Educational divisions in America
Context:
When this cartoon was published, Jimmy Carter had recently been elected. He had just submitted his new budget to congress, which included millions of dollars towards improving America's educational system.
Techniques:
  • Symbolism- The dark and drearily illustrated inner city school and its contrast to the illuminated grace of the suburban school exemplifies the inequality between educational opportunities in America. This symbolism is essentially saying that not all schools are kept and attended to the same standards. As a result, their are clear divisions in education.
  • Exaggeration- The disparity between the suburban and inner city schools are exaggerated in that not all inner city schools are underprivileged. However, school quality may actually follow this trend.
  • Labeling- The different schools are labeled to further substantiate the divisions in the American education system.
  • Irony- The title sates that America is "...one nation...indivisible..." This is ironic because the cartoon clearly illustrates the "division" between American Schools.