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A political cartoon, a type of editorial cartoons, is a graphic with characters of public figures, expressing the artist’s opinion. An artist who writes and draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. They typically combine artistic skill, hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and draw attention to corruption, political violence and other social issues. These cartoons use ethos, logos, and pathos to try and persuade a viewer to feel a certain way, or even to inform the viewer of social issues. Political cartoons can usually be found on the editorial page of many newspapers, although a few are sometimes placed on the regular comic strip page. Most cartoonists use visual metaphors and caricatures to address complicated political situations, and thus sum up a current event with a humorous or emotional picture.
Recently, a lot of political cartoons have been created about abortion and women’s rights in the United States. “On May 15, Alabama’s governor signed the most aggressively anti-abortion law in recent American history. If enacted, the law would permit abortions only if the mother’s life is at risk or if the fetus cannot survive, but not in cases of rape or incest.” This event sparked a massive fight with women’s rights activists.
Many people believe that Alabama’s bill is an infringement on womens’ rights. The artist who created this cartoon uses ethos, an ethical appeal, because women ethically deserve rights. Pathos is used here because the woman has no other options than to stay pregnant or leave the state to get an abortion, which can be very stressful especially because other women will sympathize with her. Logos being used here provides factual information in the bill, such as no abortions in case of rape or incest, which leaves the woman no choice or right in what she does with her body. The audience of this cartoon is obviously projected to women, because it’s referring to women’s rights. The author’s credibility is defined because the facts in the cartoon line up with those of the proposed bill. This specific cartoon was originally published on a website made specifically for [political cartoons, meaning the outreach is for those who are already interested in politics. The context that could affect how the piece was written is that this was made right as the bill was signed, and the bill will not go into effect for the foreseeable future.
Political cartoons have been produced for as long as social issues have existed. Notable editorial cartoons include Benjamin Franklin’s Join, or Die, on the need for unity in the American colonies; The Thinkers Club, a response to the surveillance and censorship of universities in Germany under the Carlsbad Decrees; and E. H. Shepard’s The Goose-Step, on the rearmament of Germany under Hitler. The Goose-Step is one of a number of notable cartoons first published in the British Punch magazines. They can usually be found on the editorial page of many newspapers, although a few are sometimes placed on the regular comic strip page. Most cartoonists use visual metaphors and caricatures to address complicated political situations, and that sum up a current event with a humorous or emotional picture. Not one person is untouched by political cartoons. We often see some political cartoons in our daily life. There are a lot of political cartoons in newspapers, magazines and television commercials from the mass media. When people see them, what do you think about them? Sometimes, we may think they are funny and make us laugh. Also, we believe all of their content and we change our minds by getting a different view and some new information that we didn’t know.
There are some reasons that political cartoons affect people. First, they are very funny and quite simple in meaning, that is to say we can understand difficult politicians easily. This is because we feel politics is difficult and some people avoid it. But we recognize it by seeing political cartoons without hearing deep and troublesome lectures and policy. Second, the influences and impact of political cartoons are very great because they are direct to the eye. The faculty of sight gives us a bigger impression than reading. Then we know the view on ahead and understand the meaning by reading. We received a strong impression because of the caricature and irony.
Finally, we are susceptible to political cartoons because we try to understand politics with easy methods. But we change our minds because of the influence from them. And we lost our real mind. Sometimes political cartoons are usual. However, I think that they are not a good thing; they are a deceitful thing and don’t inform us of real truth. So, when we see them, we should pay attention to them.
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