Political Cartoons

Natalie Loy, Reena Suh 4B

"Throw him some more flowers, honey--let's see how long he'll keep playing"

Published: July 18, 1962

Subject: This is representing how the Democrats and Republicans resisted Kennedy's proposal's despite his continual speeches.

Context: Kennedy wanted to start this plan called the New Frontier, that would give America this economical push, however as he kept on bringing proposals, even people on his side starting pushing back against him.


-Symbolism: The cartoonist uses the simplicity of flower pots to show how the Anti-Administration Democrats would disapprove of his continuous proposals, and he uses a guitar to show how despite the people's protests, Kennedy would continue with said proposals.

-Exaggeration: The cartoonist also, exaggerates the look of content on the Democrats faces. The Democrats were probably not as happy and peaceful minded to always be rejecting their president's proposals.

-Labeling: The flower pots are labeled as, Vote on Medical Aid, Tax Reforms, and Farm Bill. These labels help us to realize that the Democrats are wanting to "smash" these proposals, flower pots, onto Kennedy, hoping he'll get the picture one day.

-Analogy: It compares the situation of Kennedy's speeches and proposals to an entertainer who keeps coming around to the same people but getting rejected and having flower pots thrown at him, like how the Democrats would reject and resisted his proposals and pleas.

-Irony: The irony of this cartoon, is that Kennedy is the one on the lower level, and the Democrats are on the balcony, seeming to have more power. Usually, we think of the president as being on top of everything, whereas in this cartoon he is the opposite.

Purpose: To depict the struggle of Kennedy as he tried to bring out these proposals despite the Democrats and Republicans being against him.

"It comes out fuzzy"

Published: May 21, 1978

Subject: The ambiguous image of Carter and his want to fix it somehow.

Context: With an economic recession and Carter's indecisiveness, the public had this fuzzy and distorted view of Carter. So urged by the Congress and Federal Reserve Board he was trying to fix this image by starting a new plan to end this recession and gain a solid reputation.


-Symbolism: Herblock uses the television to help symbolize the people's perspective of Carter, and the communication problems that has arisen between them.

-Exaggeration: Carter's appearance when standing next to the communications repair guy is exaggerated by making him look out of focus, like he does on the television, but in reality he is truly in focus. Herblock was trying to make a point that it wasn't just the television that was having connection issues, but the President himself having problems connecting to the people.

-Labeling: Herblock labels Carter as Fuzzy, because his image in public is unclear and distorted. Also, Rafshoon is being labeled as the technician because he is Carter's Image Consultant.

-Analogy: The situation of a technician fixing the TV that has Carter's fuzzy image is the same as Rafshoon trying to fix Carter's public image.

-Irony: Jimmy Carter is trying to fix his fuzzy image in the TV, but Carter himself is fuzzy.

Purpose: Bringing to attention Carter's communication issues with the public.

"It's the Same Thing Without Mechanical Problems"

Published: January 26, 1949

Subject: The difference of the economic plans started in the U.S. and Soviet Union after the war.

Context: The U.S. and Western nations started the Marshall Plan to recover after the war and was quite successful. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and the Eastern nations struggled without a solid plan to use to recover.


-Symmbolism: The way that Herblock portrays the Marshall Plan as people using tractors to plow the fields, and the Marshall Stalin Plan having the people themselves take the yoke and manually plow shows the difference in how the people of the Soviet Union was struggling compared to the U.S. Also with the Marshall Stalin portion of the cartoon, it shows a sickle and hammer as the plow to symbolize the people being tortured by the communist government.

-Exaggeration: Herblock exaggerated the situation to extremes in this cartoon, because people were not literally riding around tractors or suffering under the yoke. However, this exaggeration highlights the idea of the differences of the situation.

-Labeling: The hammer and sickle in the bottom portion of the cartoon, portrayed those people as under a communist government.

-Analogy: The process of people plowing fields was an analogy for the nations' state of being under a certain economical plan. This analogy easily showed if a economical plan was working and helping the nation grow, or torture and cripple the nation even further.

-Irony: Between the Marshall Plan and Marshall Stalin Plan, the names indicate that there would have been little or no difference, however when put to practice, the differences were drastic. Also on the Soviet Union side, a person is struggling to take another step, and there is a officer talking to another worn down man with this look that says, "Keep working. That other guy there is totally fine! Our plan is going GREAT!"

Purpose: To inform the people seeing this cartoon of the injustices and inequality of the situation in the Soviet Union compared to the U.S.