Political Cartoon Analysis: Gilded Age
You will need a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.
What is a political cartoon?
A political cartoon is an image that is meant to convey a particular point or share a message about a specific political issue or event.
How does the artist convey their message?
Symbolism: Cartoonists use simple objects, or symbols, to stand for larger concepts or ideas.
Exaggeration: Sometimes cartoonists overdo, or exaggerate, the physical characteristics of people or things in order to make a point. When you study a cartoon, look for any characteristics that seem overdone or overblown.
Labeling: Cartoonists often label objects or people to make it clear exactly what they stand for.
Lets take a look at "Standard Oil" by Puck
Focus on your three methods an artist uses to convey their message.
Take a moment and jot down any symbols you may observe on a sheet of paper.
What does the octopus symbolize? When everyone has answered, we will review.
Take a moment and jot down any exaggerated people or objects on a sheet of paper.
What is exaggerated and in what way? When everyone has answered, we will review.
Take a moment and jot down any labels you may observe on a sheet of paper.
What labeling is used to identify the aspects of the cartoon?
Now, on to the message of the cartoon.
Take a moment study the cartoon one final time.
What is the action taking place in the cartoon? When everyone has answered, we will review
Who is the octopus holding on to?
In your opinion, what is the message the artist is attempting to convey?
Lets review the message you understood about the cartoon.