Political Cartoon Analysis

Project by Veronica Kierig and Taylor Vinson

Well everything helps

1930 or 1931

Subject: The comic is about the need for ideas to improve the economy.

Context: This comic was printed during the Great Depression, a time when America needed economic help. It focuses on the President of the time, which was Herbert Hoover.

Purpose: This comic was used to show how desperate Hoover was to find a solution.

Symbols: The fish represent the ideas that Hoover is hoping to find (fishing for ideas).

Labeling: The words "Rapidan Camp" show that they are at a river camp, the title of the newspaper "Economy Program" shows the topic that is on their minds, and the sign that says "Fresh Fish" show the need for new ideas.

Irony: They are fishing in their suits and hats which shows their desperation.

New figure on the American scene


Subject: It focuses on the censorship by President Nixon.

Context: The cartoon was drawn after the publishing of the "Pentagon Papers" by newspapers during Nixon's presidency.

Purpose: Its purpose is to criticize Nixon's attempt to control public information.

Symbolism: The scissors are a symbol of the censorship that was carried out by Nixon. The faces symbolize the people that were behind the attempt at censorship, and the shoes represent them stopping on the rest of America.

Labeling: The words "attempted censorship" explain the symbolism that Herb Block uses.

Exaggeration: The exaggeration of the size of the scissors shows how controlling Herb Block views censorship.

"It's still a representative form of government- they represent us"


Subject: The comic depicts how people buy their way into government power.

Context: The comic was brought on by elections and government influences during the modern period.

Purpose: The goal of the comic is to criticize campaign fundraising and the way many politicians buy their way into power.

Exaggeration: The giant man brings attention to how money can exaggerate power. It also shows that more money means more power.

Labeling: The sign that the small man is holding ("One Person, One Vote"), makes clear Herb's point that everyone should have an equally influential vote. The button on the big man that says, "Big Money Interests", explains what the big man represents.