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Cartoon Analysis

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Dalein C

on 3 November 2014

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Transcript of Cartoon Analysis

The cartoon depicts a man facing off with a moneybag with arms and legs. The caption appears to be “for the championship of the United States”. The caption, “92nd Congress”, and “uncontrolled campaign spending” are all employed by the cartoonist. The moneybag screams symbolism, depicting spending and indirectly, corruption and questionability. The caption struck me as significant because it seems to mock the gravity of the overspending. Discomfort and a bit of fright are depicted on the man’s face. There appears to be an unwanted wrestling match between the two entities. The words make it easier to understand why the man is staring up at a bag. The cartoonist is critiquing the 92nd Congress's immense campaign spending. Congress might disagree in their defense but the American public, given concrete figures, would likely not- numbers can be very impactful.
The cartoon is of a woman with a boy and girl at her side seated on a couch holding a book. The caption reads, "... and the Wolf chewed up the children and spit out heir bones... But those were Foreign Children and it really didn't matter." For identification purposes "America First" and "Adolf the Wolf" are presented. The woman symbolizes America and the book is the then current happenings. The caption is most significant because it is partly underlined and most prominent. While the woman is perfectly content reading, the girl is surprised and the boy appears shocked. The woman in the center is reading to the two children by her side. The words clarify the situation by explaining the expression disparity and horror of the situation condemned by the cartoonist: the loss of any life, be it foreign or domestic, ought to be taken as the loss it is. "America first" individuals would wholeheartedly disagree because they believe the US should place itself first; groups supportive of foreign aid and involvement would find solidarity.
On the left is Uncle Sam with a contraption at hand and a queue of indefinite size. The caption or title is "What This Country Needs Is a Good Mental Insecticide". "Racial Prejudice Bug" is used to identify the little critter blown out of the man's ear. The queue and bug are symbols of the American people and racial prejudice respectively. The caption seems most important because it is set well apart from everything else and helps the reader understand the scenario. Uncle Sam seems diabolically happy, although I don't believe it was meant to be interpreted that way, the man at the forefront is surprised, and the people behind him are haughty. Uncle Sam is blasting air into the man's ear to get rid of a bug. The words spoken by the man clarify his ignorance. The caption is the message- America needs to be wiped of racial prejudice. Those still experiencing racism would agree with the cartoon's message because they would be living it while most American's consider it no longer applicable because they consider racism extinct.
Two men are sitting atop missiles at a table with fingers poised over buttons connected to the other's missile. The missiles the men are seated on represent the Cuban Missile Crisis with Castro on the left and Kennedy on the right. The aggression presented in the cartoon is almost palpable. The two leaders are arm wrestling, each ready to press the button with Castro sweating. The cartoonist is commemorating America's strength during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Considering the ending, few Americans would disagree that America held its own during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Pro-Castro individuals may not be so keen since it would show weakness in Castro.
There are two men in a diner of sorts, the American flag as drapes, A "map" of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines, as a menu. The title is "Bill of Fare" with the above mentioned names identifying each menu bit as a steak, pig, and sandwich respectively and McKinley on the waiter's sheet. The two men are symbols for America and McKinley and each menu country as being up for grabs. Most significant seem to be the country names because they are featured prominently in the center of the cartoon. Uncle Sam appears to be pleased with the menu selection and McKinley happy to provide. There is a sense of superiority also portrayed by the two men. Uncle Sam is stroking his beard pensively. The words show what the Bill of Fare is and what choices it entails. The artist seems to be critizing America for drooling over its small defenseless neighbors. Those against American imperialism would be for the cartoon while supporters of the Bill of Fare would be against its portrayal for obvious reasons.
In the cartoon are Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lincoln, identified my "MLK" on the jacket and a top hat for the president. MLK represents the African American community at large and Lincoln the American people. Clearly, "MLK" is significant because it identifies the individual. The cartoon seems generally positive, content happiness. The fist bump taking place doesn't clarify the symbols so much as represent a camaraderie between the two groups, a truce of sorts between the American people and their African American component. At the time, racist southerners and Ku Klux Klan members would certainly have been against the solidarity with African Americans because it would represent to them a decline in morals.
There are four individuals sitting at a table cornered by a window and two posters. The caption reads "This would be so much easier with a one-party system!" with "Jones for Mayor" on the posters. This cartoon relies more on irony than symbolism, the irony being that both posters are of the same man complaining of the difficulty of our two-party system. It is the caption that is most important for it generates the irony. All of the individuals are either apathetic or displeased while sitting around the table watching the candidate speak. Were there no caption, the symbols and meaning would be lost. This political cartoon is condescending toward unilateral thinkers. Those who value democracy being competitive value this cartoon because competition, in theory, bears better fruit. Those with particular interest in a specific candidate likely would not since their candidate of choice would have competition.
In his cartoon, Dr. Seuss shows a multitude of Japanese, a telescope, and TNT. The caption reads “Waiting for the Signal From Home”. “California”, “TNT”, and “Honorable 5th Column” are used. The telescope and TNT are symbols; they represent intended harm and observance. “TNT” is arguably the most significant tidbit on the cartoon because when paired with the “Japs” it encompasses the fear Americans had of the Japanese during WWII. All of the Japanese seem stereotypically (the eyes) happy to be present and are waiting in a never-ending line through California, Oregon, and Washington. The words clarify what the box held by the west coast Japanese is a threat- not that Seuss actually considers it one. In this cartoon, Dr. Seuss was ridiculing American imaginations and paranoia. The Japanese, minorities, and thoughtful Americans would have agreed because they were being persecuted due to their nationality, while all others would have considered it a legitimate threat since the were war enemies.
This cartoon is of six men saying yes to another, separated man holding a pen and paper with a full trash can nearby. The title seems to be "Qualifying Test for Supreme Court Jobs". "FDR", the "Constitution", and "Justice" are all identified with words. The trash can and its contents are symbols of what the cartoonist feels was thrown away by FDR's Supreme Court justices. I believe "Constitution" and "Justice" to be the most important words in the cartoon because of their placement- in the trash. Each of the men applying for the position appear enthusiastic and eager to do whatever to secure the positions. Each of the applicants is saying "yes!" when the man identified as FDR commands "once more". "FDR" and the title clarify the symbols by providing perspective n why the integrity of Supreme Court justices is being questioned and under whose watch. The cartoonist is expressing a belief that the morals, integrity, and loyalty to the Constitution by the Supreme Court under FDR were all questionable as they were his puppets. People against FDR and his New Deals would agree, especially because of the proposed court packing while supporters of FDR would disagree, saying the Supreme Court approved of the deals because they were actually good.
The cartoon, captioned "It IS a New Deal", has a hand holding five cards up. The phrases "bank legislation" on the king and "inaugural address", "budget message", "bank holiday", and "protection of gold" are on the aces, identifying what each card stands for. Each card, as mentioned previously, stands for the components of the New Deal. The hand likely belongs to FDR representing the Deal he created and his famous first hundred days. Oddly enough, the caption seems most important because it sums up what the individual pieces cannot. In terms of action, there is only holding which scarcely counts. The words clarify the symbols by attributing a famous "first hundred days" event. The cartoon seems to be approving of the President's activity and change. Those for the New Deal and those who approved of FDR would undoubtedly approve of the cartoon because it praises both.
There are four children of increasing age lined up with bags on their backs of increasing size. The cartoon is titled "Educational Evolution...". "Grade school", "college", and "after college" are used by the cartoonist to identify the loads. The bags on the student's back are symbols of the responsibility and financial load taken on by students. Most significants seems "student loan debt" because it is used to identify the largest and weightiest bag. At first, the child appears merely complacent, becoming more worried until the end: in shock. Trudging best describes the action- walking is too mild a word. Without the words identifying the symbols, it would be more difficult to understand why the child's bag keeps getting bigger or why it even matters. The message of the cartoon seems to be that student loans are crushing students, making a college education more harmful than helpful. Students will almost unanimously agree; they live it.
In the cartoon is a large eagle atop a map of the US with stars and the sun behind it. The caption at the bottom reads "Ten thousand miles from tip to tip- Philadelphia Press." "United States", "Manila", and "Puerto Rico" are used by the cartoonist for identification. 1898 appears in the cartoon above the eagle. The eagle epresents American imperialism and the islands its conquests. The United States is perhaps most significant because it is featured prominently in the center below the eye-catching eagle. The emotion most clearly portrayed is pride. The eagle is standing with wings outstretched. The country names clarify which places were conquests and what the cartoonist is referring to when he mentions tip to tip. The message appears to be general pride in American accomplishments through imperialism. At the time of the cartoon, those most opposed to the catoon would have been people with a dislike for the occupation and conquest of nations because it is just that which this cartoon celebrates.
In the cartoon captioned "1960" and "Now" are two sets of parents and their child and a teacher as well as a report card held by each mother and the teacher's desk. The words "These grades are terrible!!" and "report card F" are present while 1960 stands out. Each person seems to stand for exactly who they are, just more generally of course. "1960" and "Now" appear to be the most significant words in the cartoon because they show the shift of responsibility then and now. In both parts, the parents are infuriated with the boy terrified in 1960 and angry now. The anger is redirected from the student to the fearful teacher now. In both, the parents are screaming. The words describe what the blame for is being shifted- the anger over the failing report card. The artist is expressing a disdain for the current blame placed on teachers for student failures when the student was previously held accountable for his own actions. Teachers would most certainly agree with the cartoon while the parents depicted would argue it true and not valid in the form of frustration- they each experience a different role in the cartoon.
A large poster with two men and a small man from behind are the subjects of the cartoon captioned "What have you done today to help save your country from them?". "You" is used to identify the man from behind. Everything seems to be purposed to take at face value. The caption is most significant: large letters above and below the poster surround the main focus. Both the men, Hitler and the Japanese General Tojo, are thoroughly pleased with themselves. "You", the individual standing, is observing the poster. "You" clarifies the purpose of the individual and message: Do your part to end the war and keep us all safe. At the time, almost every American agreed because was breeds patriotism and want of safety.
A chalkboard with writing, a tall man that resembles Obama, and a boy at a desk with math and science books are in the cartoon. The title appears to be "Sputnik Moment". "Math", "science", and "Are You Smarter Than 45 Million Chinese & Indian 5th Graders?" are used to identify textbooks and subject. The one child is representative of students at large. The "Are you smarter" caption must be most important because it is written on the chalkboard, underlined, and being pointed to. The boy is nervous and the instructor angry. The instructor is awaiting an answer to the question on the board. The boy's "gulp" makes it clear he doesn't consider himself smarter. The message is that Americans will soon be reliving the Sputnik embarrassment because we are losing, actually have lost, our edge in STEM globally. Most global analysts and realists would agree due to their more objective perspective; those focused on American success- not so much: they are focused on America's positive.
The cartoon is of a circle of sheep, bears, and bulls. In the back, "Wall Street" is used to identify the locale and may also serve as the title. The bears are symbolic of a bear market and the bulls are symbolic of a bull market. As in other cartoons, the only words must be the most significant. Each animal seems pleased with itself while some of the sheep just look out of it. The animals appear to be moving in a circle is all. By identifying the setting as Wall Street, the cartoonist helps the audience make the connection between the animals and the economic market. The cartoonist seems to be acknowledging a cyclical pattern between ups and downs, bear and bull periods. I cannot imagine anyone would disagree since no economy has ever gone always up or always down.
Cartoon Analysis
There are two young boys in the photograph with hats and papers in hand. The caption is "Florida's Choice". "Status quo" and "Common Core" are used to identify the boys. The numbers 27/9=3 and 1+1=2 are on the papers. The papers are symbols of the quality of education students receive. The most significant phrases are those on the hats of the boys because they encompass the choice Florida had per the artist. Both boys seem sufficiently pleased with their grades. The words explain what the numbers on the paper mean and what Florida's choice is. The cartoon is clearly saying the Common Core is the only way to make Florida competitive- which it's clearly not. Most government folk would agree whereas any educator or student of sound mind would disagree- no education system reform has such neat and intended results especially not in Florida.
There are two men-one youngish and the other elderly- holding cups with a water gallon in the background. "-Retiring soon?" and "...As soon as my student loan is paid off..." are being spoken. The elderly man's quip about student loans seems most significant because it nearly shouts the message when paired with his age. The old man seems so painfully despondent. The two men appear to be chatting in a typical workplace. The symbolism, or lack thereof, is so generic it allows the conversation to be transferable to near any career, indicating that a college education is much too expensive for everyone regardless of career choice. Most college graduates would agree because they have experienced the loans firsthand; some statistical analysts focused on marginally increased earnings by college graduates might disagree due to narrow focus.
In the cartoon is a draining hourglass with a family of three on the phone dialing Congress and a man seated at a desk below. "IRS" is used to identify the man at the desk and "Hello? Congress?!!" identifying the caller, and "Bush Tax Cuts" the hourglass. The hourglass and people are both symbols- the hourglass of time running out and the entrapment of the Bush tax cuts, the family of just that, and the man of the IRS. Most significant is "Bush Tax Cuts" because it identifies the confining hourglass. The family seems panicked and the man from the IRS seems indifferent. Aside from the phone call occurring, the sand is dropping down the hourglass. The dialogue better explains the family's position and predicament. The cartoon is bewailing the tax cuts with respect to traditional families. Most families and citizens would agree, corporations would not since they were primary beneficiaries.
In the cartoon are depicted a vulture with a stars and stripes top hat holding a bag with guns and money inside in its beak, a nest, and three men. Each man is identified as either "Yemen", "Bahrain", or "Egypt". The vulture represents the United States, the bag what we have given these countries and the men their respective countries. If any words are significant then those used for identification are because of just that. The vulture seems conspiratorially pleased and the countries famished. The vulture is feeding the men weapons and money. The words serve to clarify through identification. The criticism in this particular cartoon is that respecting American provision of tools of destruction and not of peace that may ultimately be turned against anyone. Those strongly believing in foreign aid would disagree with the cartoon and cartoonist: people are people and worth helping regardless of geography. Those wary of foreign aid would agree: with unstable countries, one cannot tell to what end weapons and money may be used.
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