ANALYSING CARTOON VISUALS YOU MAY HAVE TO ANALYSE Cartoon Photograph Advertisement Graphs or other statistical representations CARTOONS Context: refers? What is the issue to which the cartoon/text Comment: Is the cartoon is making a political or social comment? Opinion: What is the cartoonist’s opinion? Tone: gloomy, Is the cartoon’s tone serious, funny, dark and witty or biting? Components: What are the different elements of the cartoon? CARTOONS A cartoon is usually a humorous drawn picture of a situation, well-known personality or story. Cartoons are used to express ideas or to draw attention to a situation or a well-known personality. They often highlight a current social or political issue. WHEN STUDY CARTOONS LOOK AT: B B B B B B Characters: Are they stereotypes or caricatures? Background & Setting: Where & when is the scene taking place? Language: Is formal /informal register used? How are the sentences structured? Punctuation: Used to portray emotions. Actions: Look at facial expressions and symbols or lines used to portray movement/emotion. Objectives: Is the aim to inform, educate or entertain? CARTOONS Use of Irony: - Situational irony: i.e. absurd, ironic situations based on coincidence or unexpected events. - Linguistic irony: the use of ironic language such as puns, sarcasm and hidden messages IRONY IRONY SYMBOLS Cartoonists use symbols to convey complex idea. A symbol is anything that stands for something else. Obvious examples are: • flags, which symbolize a nation the cross is a symbol for Christianity • a light bulb is a symbol of inspiration in a cartoon. SYMBOLS (SHOWER HEAD) COLOUR Colours can be separated into two groups: Warm colours: Red, orange and yellow may be used to evoke feelings of comfort and warmth. It can also be used to express anger and embarrassment. Cool colours: Blue, green and purple may represent calm and tranquility. Otherwise it can mean sadness and misery. COLOUR SIZE Size is an important element in cartoons and one that is often quite obvious. Investigate: ♣ Is anything disproportioned? ♣ Exaggerated? Under-exaggerated? ♣ What is large and what is small? SIZE LABELLING Often a cartoonist will label something that they think the average reader won’t know about (eg: who a person is) ♣ What is labeled? ♣ What do the labels say? ♣ Do the labels tell us the situation? Person? Time change? LABELLING K K K K A cartoon can be a single frame or consists of a series of frames. Movement is indicated by vertical, curved and diagonal lines. Speedy action is indicated by streaky lines or the action leaving the frame. Fonts are also changed for emphasis. Words in bold = loud Smile = happy Jagged speech bubble, bold print and question/exclamation marks indicate shouting. Mom is hysterical: wide open eyes and mouth. The asterisk indicates confusion or a thought process. Blank expression emphasises confusion. Hands on head = despair! Shows she has moved away Emotions? Evidence? FOCUS The focus of a cartoon can indicate the main issue or situation. ♣ What is in focus? ♣ What is in the foreground and background? FOCUS ANGLES Angles often provide readers an indication of the status of particular people or things. If the angle is sloping down, then it creates an image of a smaller person or item. This indicates weakness, inferiority and powerlessness. An angle sloping up towards a person or item provides it with power, superiority and authority. A straight-on angle can represent equality. ANGLES FACIAL EXPRESSIONS Facial expressions are key to the character’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. ♣ What facial expressions are used? ♣ Do they change (sequential cartoons)? ♣ How do expressions compare to another’s expression? ♣ Is it an expression we expect? FACIAL EXPRESSION Frame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3 1. Who are the two men in the cartoon? (1) 2. 2.1 Refer to Frames 1 and 2. Describe how the man on the left is feeling. Refer to his body language and facial expression to support your answer. 2.2 Which word in the speech bubble in Frame 2 tells us how the man on the right is feeling? 2.3 How do his body language and facial expression show us what he is feeling? 2.4 Why does he feel this way? 2.5.1 What does the man on the left mean when he says “Taxi drivers are only human”? 2.5.2 What is he implying? (3) (1) (4) (2) (1) (1) 3. 3.1 3.2 3.3 (1) (3) (1) 4. Refer to Frame 3. Describe how the taxi drivers are driving. How do the drawings show you this? Why does the man add “super” to “human”? The cartoonist is poking fun at taxi drivers. Do you think they deserve this? Give a reason for your answer. Is there any wordplay? (2) 1. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5.1 2.5.2 3.1 3.2 The two men are metropolice officers. (1) The man is feeling happy and confident. (1). His eyes are big, he is smiling, his hands are behind his back. Any TWO. (2) “intimidated” He is nervous: huge, terrified eyes; stiff body; arms straight and stiff at his sides; mouth turned down. The taxi drivers are reckless and terrifying, and he has to try to deal with them. Taxi drivers are human beings like everyone else. He implies that they can be approached and reasoned with and dealt with. (3) (1) (4) (2) (1) (1) 3.3 They are driving recklessly, weaving in and out of the traffic. ONE point. (1) There are skid marks; the driver’s head turns rapidly from one side to the other as he tries to watch what the other drivers are doing; there are exclamation marks above the heads of pedestrians and drivers suggesting how shocked and horrified they are; there are even exclamation marks above the robots, as if they, too, are shocked at being ignored. Any THREE. (3) He suggests more than human, beyond the ordinary. (1) 4. No marks for yes/no. Mark on the reason given. (2) K K K All answers should be substantiated with close reference to the cartoon. Pay careful attention to the body language of the characters and refer to visible features. Remember that cartoons make use of puns, satire, sarcasm and irony that need to be explained by referring to the cartoon.