9 Academic Extension Term 3
political cartoon is a type of drawing used to present opinions, comments,
or criticisms of a situation, person, or event. This cartoon uses SATIRE
to make a comment about some person, situation, issue, event, criticising
this target and making some comment about society and or people in general.
definitions of satire.
Definitions for satire from the
The technique which employs wit to ridicule a subject, usually some social
institution or human foible. The satirical intention, however, is not
simply to deride, but to inspire reform. 2) Satire amuses by making its
object appear ridiculous, but beneath the laughter is a serious criticism
of human folly or excess from the reference point of a standard of behavior
which has been violated. It cannot function without this norm of correct
behavior, whether implied or stated. Horatian satire is light, gentle.
Junevalian satire is biting, stinging angry. See COMEDY.
A work or manner that blends a censorious attitude with humor and wit
for improving human institutions or humanity. Satirists attempt through
laughter not so much to tear down as to inspire a remodeling. If attackers
simply abuse, they are writing invective; if they are personal and splenetic;
they are writing SARCASM. Satire existed in classical antiquity. Early
American satire naturally followed the English in style. Before the Revolution,
American satire dealt chiefly with the political struggle.
Writing that seeks to arouse a readers disapproval of an object by ridicule.
Satire is usually comedy that exposes error with an eye to correct vice
A literary work which belittles or savagely attacks its subject. A distinction
is sometimes made between direct and indirect satire. [Contributor: Dr.
Ismail S. Talib, National University of Singapore.]
Ridicule of a folly or vice in order to expose/correct it
The use of humour to ridicule and hopefully provoke change in society.
use many different techniques to achieve their goals:
Anthropomorphism this means "turn into
a person", giving ideas,
places, objects and animals human characteristics. Uncle Sam is a figure
representing America, Hitler may personify evil / war; dogs, cats and
other animals or objects can made to act, think and talk like people.
Caricature - exaggerating or distorting
one or more physical features of a person to create humour, to belittle
or mock someone of high standing ; exaggerate certain features to make
someone clearly recognisable;
Exaggeration Ζcartoonists may exaggerate certain features of an setting or an incident
to draw something to our attention, to make really obvious, to increase
Incongruity Ζ is the placing of wildly
contrasting or different characters, objects or settings together Ζ this
will create humour because of the great contrast between the two states;
Symbolism - using a recognizable item
to communicate an idea Ζ a dove for peace, Hitler or the swaztika to represent
war / hate etc; symbolism is also used for what associations certain
objects may carry or hold;
Irony- (see definition below) irony is
used often in the form of contrast, where the cartoonist shows
one thing in strong contrast to another to either create humor or draw
our attention to something, eg hypocrisy.
Stereotyping Ζ stereotypes are a very
important part of the cartoonist weapons of satire; a stereotype is a
visual shortcut, where certain costumes, objects, actions, accessories
or features can be used to represent a whole group Ζ eg a stethoscope
and white coat make a doctor; place him in a Mercedes and he's rich, maybe
Parody Ζ this is copying or imitating
someone actions or what someone has done, in an exaggerated manner, causing
humour often because the copy accentuates or distorts the original, making
some defect very obvious; (a caricature is an exaggerated drawing of features,
a parody exaggerates what is done);
Pun Ζ a pun is a play on words, where
one word can mean two things (telling the Boston strangler to get a grip
on himself, a teacher giving Andre Agassi a serve in class, a chant that
goes "we're number one and you're number two"..) or the sound
of a word can have two or more meanings (wear/where).
Comic codes and conventions - (see separate sheets); this
is an accepted way of doing things, of what people understand by certain
signs and symbols; they are the rules of creating comics that we all understand
without having to be told. (Having a frame around the drawing, using speech balloons and thought bubbles,
using certain lines, shading, symbols (#@$*!)
etc to represent things in the real world.
for interpreting a cartoon :
Describe accurately what you see in the cartoon. List the objects or people
that you see in the cartoon.
Describe what is happening in the four quadrants (divide into four) of
Which objects/people are symbols? What do you think each one means?
Are there any important clues (words, places, numbers) in the cartoon?
Are lines, shapes and shading used at all symbolically? (ie shading can represent darkness or evil, some lines
indicate a character's movement.)
What comic conventions have been used which add meaning? (See sheet on
What is the political or social issue presented in the cartoon?
What is the cartoonist's viewpoint on this issue? How do you know?
Who might agree/disagree with the cartoon? Why?
Describe how you were able to interpret this cartoon; ie why have you drawn certain conclusions. Explanation in depth.
is in the cartoon; what does it consist of?
WHAT/WHO is being satirised; ie what is the target
of the satire?
WHAT is the purpose or intention of this cartoon?
have been used to convey this ?
IS the cartoon an effective one and why?
Irony is one technique being adopted in this cartoon. Irony can be detected
in different ways;
verbal irony ( where the meaning intended
by the speaker is not the same as meaning conveyed by the words chosen,
or feelings expressed by a speaker towards a subject are a direct contradiction
to the way he describes that subject and the connotations that subject
has for the listener) ;
dramatic irony (where character 'a' or
an audience knows something that character 'b' does not know and does
not suspect, usually because character 'b' does not realise that the words
of character 'a' are not what character 'a' intends. As you can see, verbal
irony can be a part of dramatic irony) ;
structural irony (when any of the above
are part of the structure of an entire play/story/novel) ;
'surprise' irony (when the event or situation
we LEAST expect occurs just after we have been speaking about it)
Reversal is another technique; his is where the reverse of
what we are lead to believe or expect is the intention of the cartoon
Analogy (a situation compared to an equivalent one) is yet
another technique used; this is where the ideas in one set of circumstances
or one situation is compared directly to another so that we make some
connection between the two circumstances.
A contradiction or incongruity. In literature, irony often falls into
one of three categories. "Verbal Irony" occurs when words mean
in context the opposite of what they say considered by themselves. "Situational
Irony" occurs when one event is expected by another oppositional
event occurs. "Dramatic Irony" exists when a literary character
and the reader (or two characters) view a particular situation from opposing
perspectives with one knowing/understanding more than the other. In formalist
criticism, recognizing irony can be a key to articulating the oppositional
elements contribution to the complex organic unity of the literary work.
A broad term referring to the recognition of a reality different from
appearance. Verbal irony a FIGURE OF SPEECH in which the actual intent
is expressed in words that carry the opposite meaning. We may say, "I
could care less" while meaning "I couldn't less." Irony
is likely to be confused with SARCASM, but it differes from sarcasm in
that it is usually less harsh. The effectiveness of irony is the impression
it gives of restraint. The ironist writes with tongue in cheek; for this
reason irony is more easily detected in speech than in writing, because
the voice can, through its intonation, easily detected in speech than
in writing, because the voice can, through its intonation, easily warn
the listener of a double significance.
A device by which a writer expresses a meaning contradictory to the stated
one. There are many techniques for achieving irony. The writer may make
it clear that the meaning he intends is the opposite of his literal one,
or he may construct a discrepancy between an expectation and its fulfillment
or between the appearance of a situation and the reality that underlies
it. See Also: DRAMATIC IRONY, STRUCTURAL IRONY, VERBAL IRONY
At its most basic, a difference or gap between the presentation/representation
of something and its reality. In other words, when what something appears
to be and what it is are not the same. Irony can be engaged or detached:
Engaged irony uses the gaps between reality and representation to make
a point or expose something; detached irony exploits gaps for immediate
effect, like humor, satire or surface criticism.
Study : "English Power Book 4
Next read pages 136, 137 and answer qu's 55 Ζ59.
Select any TWO editorial cartoons from "The West" or "The
Sunday Times" and answer the following questions, 100 words for each
editorial cartoon. Cut each out and attach to your answers.