Analysis of a political editorial cartoon 4
Editorial cartoons have at times been controversial for example the publication of Muhammad
cartoon and the Bangladesh cartoon controversy.
In order to analyze a cartoon effectively, one must focus on the picture. Identifying the visual
elements is key. One should take a look at the cartoon as a whole making notes on the drawing
that one sees, make a list of the visual elements like people, animals, any other objects, and the
settings or in other terms the background.
The analyst should identify the main focus of the cartoon. This is achieved by finding the portion
of the particular cartoon that most stands out. This in most instances is a caricature. It will be an
exaggeration or distortion of a person or object with the goal of providing a comic effect. One
should also identify for the widely recognized symbols and this may include some metaphors
that are commonly used by political cartoonists. Examples of these metaphors an eagle for the
United States, a lion for United kingdom, a beaver for Canada, a bear for Russia, a dragon for
China, a sun for Japan and a Kangaroo for Australia.
One should take note of the distortion or exaggeration by focusing on the visual elements and
paying close attention to how they are drawn. It is possible for people or animals to be distorted
in a way or another. Some of the visual effects may be stereotypes and need to be identified. This
helps the reader identify the visual effects more clearly. These can call the attention of offensive
and outdated stereotypes.
Illusions to contemporary events or trends should be identified. One will find that some cartoons
may link their subject matter to a current event or trend that is widely recognized. When one is
creating a cartoon about voting, it may include a ballot box, names of the candidates and