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This past week, I heard many people complaining about the sudden rise of gas prices at the pump. A cartoon published last Sunday, February 27, 2011, in The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, gave a light-hearted view on a very serious subject. Dick Locher’s untitled political cartoon addresses the rising price of gas at the pump. Also published on February 27, 2011, by the editorial board of The Star-Ledger, an editorial was written with an opposing view on this issue. Elevated gas prices are going to affect every American from the young to the old in some way.
As seen in figure one, there are two young children and half of an adult woman. A play gas pump and a car are also depicted in this cartoon. The two children are playing “Gas Station” and the little boy takes almost all of the girl’s allowance because she asks for a fill-up. Even the young girl understands that it should not have taken almost her whole allowance to fill up her toy car. The words in the cartoon very clearly match up with the visual images portrayed by the artist. This simple cartoon speaks to the many viewers who are also feeling the pain of this increase when feeling their car with gas. The message of Locher’s cartoon is that more and more Americans are paying more out of their pocket to fill their cars with gas each week. I believe that all Americans would agree with this message. With spring break and vacation months approaching, those in the tourism industry would agree with this message and are watching this issue with great concern. The adult viewers, who saw this cartoon either in their printed paper or their online news source, would find this cartoon entertaining because it made them smile about a subject that most Americans are unhappy with. While the artist does not really use logos or pathos, the ethos and the tone he uses both give off a comical perspective on a subject that rarely makes us smile. The ethos used gives the viewer a good laugh by being comical; however, it also gives a depressed feel when one thinks that the idea of gas stations taking all one’s money is actually true. The tone is humorous but serious all the same.
The editorial I chose to write about gives a much different view on rising gas prices. The editorial board, who wrote this article, believes that elevated gas prices could be a good thing. Instead of trying to figure out how to get gas prices down, they suggest finding an alternate way of energy. Also, they bring about another good point about our relationships with countries that America buys oil from. “Until we force ourselves to rely more on alternative energy, we’ll keep giving money and leverage to our potential enemies. We’ll keep fueling terrorism” (“Time to Break the Habit:”). Many people would agree and many people would disagree with this article. Of course if terrorist saw this editorial they would obviously disagree. Many Americans’ would also disagree with this view because the thing want is for the price of gas to go down. These writers believe that one way to cut back on oil consumption is to create a stiffer federal gas tax. “It would lower oil imports, encourage more fuel-efficient vehicles and generate revenue to invest in public transit, which would reduce driving” (“Time to Break the Habit:”). Mainly adults would be reading this article, primarily American adults, as we are the ones the situation applies to. When I first read this editorial, I had the feeling that the people who wrote it wanted me to jump on board and support their ideas which would make their purpose in writing it persuading. Another purpose could also be to describe the issue in the way they see it and the situation at hand in the United States. The editorial board used logos when they stated facts such as, “The United States uses nearly 400 million gallons of oil every day” (“Time to Break the Habit:”). Here again I see the ethos used and the tone expressed being very closely related. The tone of this editorial is determination in a sense because these writers are determined to influence people that many things need to be considered other than just lowering gas prices.
The cartoon and the editorial both were similar to each other in some ways. They both address the issue of rising gas prices and both offer an opinion, though very different, on the issue. However, the message of the editorial and the cartoon are much different. The cartoons’ message says that gas prices are taking a lot of the consumer’s money and that will continue to increase as prices increase. The editorial’s message is that no matter how much money is going to the gas pumps, it is only going to get worse, so we need to deal with it and find another way of energy. The editorial also offers more information on the things that they believe are causes of this issue, the effects of depending on foreign oil, and what needs to be done to help fix this problem, of course in their opinion. On the contrary, the cartoon gives no information or hidden meanings about anything other than simply the effects of rising gas prices on Americans, meaning the money issue. I believe that the editorial makes a better rhetorical argument because they present more information other than just about how much money is going to the gas pumps. I believe that the editorial board does an outstanding job of using facts to persuade and describe the view of what they think are the causes and effects of this issue in America. Though they both present different ideas and a different message, I think that the editorial does a better job of expressing their points on this issue.
As I analyzed both the cartoon and the editorial I found that I agreed and disagreed with different things in each one. I myself work and see the effects that gas prices take on my paycheck each week, however, I do agree with the editorial in that we just need to deal with it and start looking for other ways of energy other than gasoline. The editorial brought about a great point about the United States fueling terrorism which I also agree with. Foreign countries could turn on any other country at any time. If we are one of the countries who are complaining about the price of barrels of oil then we could be their prime victims on any form of attack. However, I do disagree with the idea of proposing a gasoline tax. Americans are already being taxed for almost everything and this would hurt our economy and the average American more if this came to be.
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