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Political Cartoons. Visual Protests. Origins of the political cartoon. Began as caricatures in the time of Leonardo da Vinci (1400s)

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Political Cartoons

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Political Cartoons

Visual Protests


Origins of the political cartoon

  • Began as caricatures in the time of Leonardo da Vinci (1400s)

  • Editorial elements (aka commentary) emerged in the time of Martin Luther (1500s) where he used ‘political cartoons’ in his pamphlets to rail against the Catholic Church

  • Makes its way to North America with works by Benjamin Franklin (1750s)


Lucas Cranach the Elder for Martin Luther


Benjamin Franklin (1754)


The high-point of political cartoons

  • The 19th and 20th century are times of great change in many parts of the world, especially related to politics, therefore political cartoons feature prominently in pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers


Post-Civil War America: “The Cinderella of the Republican Party and her Sister”


WW1


WW2


What’s the point of a political cartoon?

  • Takes serious issues and presents them in a funny way that is more socially acceptable

    • Doesn’t seem as harsh or critical as an editorial or an article communicating the same message or point of view

  • Designed to affect the viewer's opinion

  • Thus appeal and influence are key!


STEPS TO ANALYZE A POLITICAL CARTOON

Read pgs 216-217 in textbook & make notes


STEP 1: ESTABLISH A KNOWLEDGE BASE

Who is pictured in the cartoon?

What aspects do you recognize?

What does the caption say?

What wording is used in the cartoon?


STEP 2: IDENTIFY THE ISSUE

Using info from Step 1 answer the following:

What is the subject or message of the cartoon?

What particular issue is being identified?

What makes you think this?

What ‘evidence’ can you provide from the cartoon to support your determination?


STEP 3: DETERMINE DEVICES

What stands out to you in the cartoon?

What ‘characters’ are in it? How do they look?

Remember to consider:

  • Caricature

  • Analogy

  • Symbols

  • Facial expressions & gestures

  • Words


STEP 4: IDENTIFY BIAS

What is the cartoonist’s point of view?

Positive? Negative? (Rarely if ever is a cartoonist neutral!)

Remember to consider:

  • National/regional/local

  • Political

  • Racial/ethnic

  • Economic

  • Gender

  • Personal values


"Now mother's all-Canadian boy can go wave his all-Canadian flag while his all-Canadian father reads his all-Canadian magazine, and his all-Canadian mother watches her all-Canadian T.V., and we develop our all-Canadian culture...“ (Leonard Norris, Vancouver Sun, March 23, 1956)


STEP 1:

STEP 2:

STEP 3:

STEP 4:


Who says we don’t have national color and character? (Leonard Norris, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 16, 1956)


STEP 1:

STEP 2:

STEP 3:

STEP 4:


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