Understanding Editorial Cartoons. How to Analyze a Political Cartoon.
2. Follow the natural flow by discovering the interactions with other people or objects in the cartoon.
3. Look at the minor details in the cartoon. Sometimes objects or people in the background or along the sides of the cartoon are subtle influences on the humor or the point of the cartoon.
4. Be sure to read any labels. Cartoonists sometimes label people or objects to be sure the reader understands who or what they represent.
5. Look for widely recognized symbols. Cartoonists will often use symbols to represent abstract ideas.
6. Look for exaggeration in physical appearance (like clothing) and the facial characteristics and expressions of the people in the cartoon.
7. Look for the analogy (a comparison between two unlike things that share some characteristic). By comparing a complex issue or situation to something with which your audience would be more familiar, the cartoonist helps the reader understand the intended message.
8. Look for the irony (the difference between the way things are and the way things ought to be or are expected to be).
9. To understand the cartoon, check out the context of the cartoon. Usually a political cartoon is created about current events. Check the date on the cartoon for a clue as to the context.
10. Determine the audience for the cartoon. What population and locality is the cartoon designed for? Will it persuade them?