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Propaganda and Political Cartoons Analyzing the images Define the word “Cartoon” Political: that which is concerned with public affairs or government a sketch or drawing that interests or Therefore: a political amuses by cartoon is a sketch portraying persons, or drawing concerned things, political with public affairs or events or situations government issues etc. in an exaggerated way What is the purpose of a political cartoon? To convey a point of view about a significant event, individual or issue Brainstorm: What significant event, individual or issue could the artist be depicting? What is the message of the cartoon? Step 1: Establish a knowledge Base Why is establishing a knowledge base important? Political cartoons in newspapers today may make immediate sense, but the context needs to be considered in looking at cartoons from the past Political cartoons cannot be understood without establishing the context Is the context enough? From just looking at the individuals, could you come up with a time period? How did you come up with your time period? If you only knew that the time period was WWII could you understanding this cartoon? Step 2: Identifying the Issue Knowing what you do about Germany and Russia, what is the issue? What is the artist message? The Nazi-Soviet Pact; Germany and Russia will not remain allies forever Step 3: Determine the devices used by the cartoonist In groups of five, take the descriptions and political cartoons and match them up. Which device best explains the political cartoon you are looking at? Cartoon A Symbols: The Symbols of the Grim Reaper to represent death Cartoon B Analogy: The Prime Minister as the captain of a sinking ship is an analogy for the declining popularity of the political party Cartoon C Caricature: The cartoonist exaggerates the physical characteristics to make it clear the individual is Japanese Cartoon D Facial Expression: It is evident that Hitler is worried and that his army is shouting at him from their facial expressions and body language Cartoon E Words: Without the words, we would not know that the cartoonist was discussing the issue of racism in the United States Step 4: Identify the Cartoonist’s Bias What is a bias? A slanted or prejudiced attitude that can prevent people from presenting evidence clearly and truthfully Step 4: Identifying the Bias What are the potential bias a political cartoonist could have? National/Regional/Local Bias Political Bias Religious Bias Racial/Ethnic Bias Economic Bias Gender Bias Personal Values Step 4: Identify the Cartoonist’s Bias Political cartoonists present a point of view that has often been shaped by many influences. They tend to portray issues in extreme: bad is very bad, and good is very good. When examining a political cartoon you need to watch for bias. You Try It! Scrutinize the characters. Can you name them by drawing on your knowledge of local and world events? Examine the characters' attire and other visual clues. For example: facial expressions: does the character's face convey anger, fear, intrigue etc.? complexion: describe the character's facial appearance (cleancut and shaven, scruffy etc.) Body expression and appearance: describe the character's physical appearance (slouched, arms waving frantically, small stature, broad and bold body etc.) attire: what is the character wearing? (suit and tie, underwear, hats, etc) exaggeration of facial or physical characteristics: compared to a photograph (e.g., chins, mouths, bulging eyes, long noses etc.) Identify objects you see in the cartoon (buildings, fences, something the character is holding). Notice words on the objects and background features (sky, walls, water). Using all of this information, identify the issue and what the message is.