Spineless Leaders Of Democracy Cartoon Analysis Essay

 

We all love Cartoons! The first page most of us turn to while reading a newspaper is the comics’ page. But, you may never have thought that you will be reading one during the GAMSAT and be tested upon it. Well… GAMSAT is full of surprises! Section 1 of the GAMSAT paper always has a few MCQs based on a cartoon. The amusing cartoons may be followed by tricky questions. So how do you deal with them?

When you look at the cartoon, try to infer these in your head:
• What is the cartoon about?
• What methods has the cartoonist used to emphasise on the main issue?
• What symbols, if any, are used and what do they symbolise?
• Do you agree with the cartoonist’s view on the issue?

Make it a habit to try and answer such questions each time you see a cartoon. Discuss it with your friends…have a laugh and share thoughts. It is a great way to prepare for the cartoon based MCQs for GAMSAT.

Let’s look at Analogy

Have you ever thought about exactly what kind of cartoons come for the GAMSAT?

GAMSAT MCQs are mostly based on editorial cartoons. Editorial cartoons are different from other cartoons that simply evoke laughter. Editorial cartoons always persuade the reader to THINK. The cartoonist uses them to make a point about a particular idea or issue. The first technique cartoonists often use is making an analogy between things. Let’s look at the two cartoons below:

 

The first cartoon above makes an analogy between earth and the popular nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty. We all know of how he “sat on a wall, and had a great fall…and couldn’t be put together again”. By using a popular and lighthearted nursery rhyme to deal with a serious issue like global environment, the cartoonist at once catches our attention and makes his point: earth’s destruction is an irreversible process.

In the second cartoon, the cartoonist critiques man’s materialism and apathy towards serious problems like preservation of the environment. While the agenda of the meeting is to ensure that the climatic balance of the earth is maintained, one man still questions, quite concernedly, whether the effort is worth it. Clearly extremely materialistic, the man makes it absolutely clear that doing their own bit to preserve the environment would be justified only if the environment is, in any way, adversely affected.

Using analogy is just one of the tricks in the cartoonist’s bag. But you see how effective it is in putting forth his opinion. It has an instant connection with the readers. It is easy to understand as it deals with something familiar. So, keep reading cartoons and analysing them…but most importantly, don’t forget to have a laugh!

 

Go on, laugh.

 

And now time for some Symbolism

What Exactly is a Symbol?

symbol is something that represents something else, either by association or by resemblance.* For instance, the rose has commonly been regarded as a symbol of beauty. Cartoonists often employ symbolism in more subtle ways to make their point. Knowing how they do this will help you in analysing cartoons more effectively during GAMSAT.

Let’s see an example:

 

  • This is cartoonist David Low’s precise depiction of the results of appeasement.
  • Using the “spineless leaders of democracy” as stepping stones, Hitler marches towards his final destination.
  • Here, each of the national leaders symbolises or represents democracy. As we all know, Hitler too has gone on to become an iconic symbol of despotism.
  • By portraying Hitler, a figure of terror and militarism, in a nose thumbing posture, the cartoonist invites you not only to laugh but also further emphasises the stark gravity of the situation during the world wars. It was chaos and mayhem all over the world during those times.
  • Symbolism is using a concrete picture or concept to represent something abstract.
  • If you keep a track of global politics down the ages as well as history, you will get the humour in this cartoon. This makes it important that you are up to date with current affairs, not just local news but also international, for GAMSAT Section I questions.

Cartoonists use symbolism  to a double advantage as they get the creative freedom to depict controversial issues, people and organisations in a not-so-flattering manner without being called to the bar for it.

Editorial cartoons are often accompanied by a few lines of text describing people or things. Make sure you read the ‘fine print’ in a cartoon carefully during the GAMSAT in order to get a clear idea of what the cartoonist is trying to say. Hope you found some help on how to deal with questions based on cartoons found in Section I of the GAMSAT paper.

Image source: cartoonstock.com, c1planetsavecom.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com, politicalhumor.about.com

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Presentation on theme: "The Road to War Political Cartoons."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road to WarPolitical Cartoons

2 The Flower (1919)

3 This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on
11 November 1919.  

4 What is the message of this cartoon?

5 Denotation Connotation
To do this question, you need first to borrow two concepts from English:Denotation(what you see)Connotation(how it affects its audience)This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

6 The League of Nations is an angel.
DenotationThe League of Nations is an angel.ConnotationThe angel of peace.MeaningThe League is a divine bringer of peace to the world.This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

7 The League of Nations is a large flower.
DenotationThe League of Nations is a large flower.ConnotationPeace is a very beautiful thing.MeaningThe League is a beautiful thing.This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

8 The flower is growing in a graveyard.
DenotationThe flower is growing in a graveyard.ConnotationThe League is one result of the deaths of the First World War.MeaningThe soldiers did not die in vain – out of the killing of the war has come a way to keep the peace in the future.This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

9 Origin Date Finally, always remember to look at: (who drew it)
(when it was published)This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

10 Origin David Low, in the Star. Details Significance
A British newspaper. David Low was a strong supporter of the League of NationsSignificanceThis cartoon illustrates the hope that British people (especially David Low) placed in the League to keep the peace.This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

11 Exactly a year after the Armistice – the first ‘Remembrance Day’.
Date11 November 1919.DetailsExactly a year after the Armistice – the first ‘Remembrance Day’.SignificanceThis was part of the British public’s psychologically coming to terms with the First World War – remembering the slaughter, but also hoping it would be ‘the war to end all wars’.This cartoon by the British artist David Low appeared in the Star newspaper on11 November 1919.  

12 The Gap in the Bridge (Br 1919)

13 Japanese Invasion of Manchuria (1931)

14 A British cartoon of 1933 shows Japan trampling all over the League, whilst Britain powders her nose.

15 Moral Persuasion (1936)The rabbit is saying: "My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye."

16 Denotation Connotation Meaning
A rabbit, representing the League of Nations.ConnotationRabbits are weak, and known for running away and hiding.MeaningThe League is weak.This cartoon – entitled ‘Moral Persuasion’ appeared in the British satirical magazine Punch in July 1920.  The rabbit says: "My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye."

17 Denotation Connotation Meaning
A snake, representing ‘international strife’ (i.e. war).ConnotationSnakes are powerful and evil, and they eat rabbits.MeaningThe League is too weak to expect it to be able to stop war.This cartoon – entitled ‘Moral Persuasion’ appeared in the British satirical magazine Punch in July 1920.  The rabbit says: "My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye."

18 Denotation Connotation Meaning
The rabbit (knowing it has no weapons) is preparing to try to hypnotise the snake.ConnotationIDIOCY! Snakes hypnotise their prey, and rabbits ‘freeze’ with fear – the rabbit is going to be killed.Meaning‘Moral persuasion’ will never prevent war, and it will be the League which is destroyed.This cartoon – entitled ‘Moral Persuasion’ appeared in the British satirical magazine Punch in July 1920.  The rabbit says: "My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye."

19 Date Details Significance July 1920.
Poland, Russia and Czechoslovakia were at war and the League could not stop it.SignificanceThis showed the British public’s disappointment that the League seemed unable to stop war.This cartoon – entitled ‘Moral Persuasion’ appeared in the British satirical magazine Punch in July 1920.  The rabbit says: "My offensive equipment being practically nil, it remains for me to fascinate him with the power of my eye."

20 Italy Invades Abyssinia (1935)
A British cartoon of 1935 shows international politics like a stage musical. Britain and France sing:‘We don’t want you to fight,but by jingo if you do,We will probably issue a joint memorandumSuggesting a mild disapproval of you.’

21 AppeasementEngland footballers give the Nazi salute before a match in Germany in a picture from German photograph archives.

22 Re-Militarize the Rhineland

23 Hitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

24 What is the message of this cartoon?

25 Denotation Connotation
To do this question, you need first to borrow two concepts from English:Denotation(what you see)Connotation(how it affects its audience)Hitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

26 Thumbing one’s nose is a sign of contempt.
DenotationHitler strides across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ thumbing his nose.ConnotationHitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.Thumbing one’s nose is a sign of contempt.MeaningHitler was increasing his power with utter contempt for the other countries of the world.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

27 Hitler is goose-stepping.
DenotationHitler is goose-stepping.ConnotationHitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.German militarism – the goose-step was the formal march of the German army.MeaningHitler is increasing his power by force and threat of military force.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

28 Hitler is goose-stepping over ‘the spineless leaders of democracy’
DenotationHitler is goose-stepping over ‘the spineless leaders of democracy’ConnotationHitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.The leaders of the western democracies are just giving way to Hitler.MeaningAnger at appeasement and the need to stand up to Hitler – who intended to keep on expanding – are a regular message of Low’s cartoons.

29 Denotation Connotation Meaning
The first three steps are taken towards the ultimate goal: ‘Boss of the Universe’.ConnotationHitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.‘Taking steps’ implies conscious decisions. Low does not know what Hitler will do next.MeaningLow does not know what Hitler will do next, but he is sure that Hitler intends to continue until he rules the world.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

30 Origin Date Finally, always remember to look at: (who drew it)
(when it was published)Hitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

31 Date Details Significance
The British cartoonist David Low, in a British newspaper.DetailsHitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.Low hated Hitler and appeasement.SignificanceLow is reflecting the anti-appeasement standpoint that Hitler was just humiliating the appeasers.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

32 Origin Details Significance July 1936.
Hitler goose-steps across the ‘spineless leaders of democracy’ towards his goal: ’Boss of the Universe’.The first 3 steps are labelled ‘Rearmament’, ‘Rhineland’ and ‘Danzig’.In March 1936, German troops had re-occupied the Rhineland.SignificanceLow is warning that Hitler needed to be confronted, or he would continue trying to take over more countries.This cartoon by the British cartoonist David Low appeared in the Evening Standard newspaper in July 1936.

33 AnschlussMarch 1938

34 The deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.
Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

35 Hitler as a poacher, stealing a deer labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’.
DenotationThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.Hitler as a poacher, stealing a deer labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’.ConnotationPoaching has connotations of crime and cruelty – Hitler is shown as a ‘bad man’.MeaningHitler is stealing Austria’s integrity (= independence/freedom).Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

36 A sign stating: ‘Strictly preserved’.
DenotationThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.A sign stating: ‘Strictly preserved’.ConnotationHitler is committing an illegal act.MeaningAnschluss was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, but Hitler was breaking the terms of the Treaty.Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

37 The gun represents German militarism, violence and expansionism.
DenotationThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.Hitler carries a gun.ConnotationThe gun represents German militarism, violence and expansionism.MeaningHitler is stealing Austria’s integrity by forceDrawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

38 DenotationThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.The gamekeeper (who looks like Mussolini) lounges against the rock, waving Hitler on.ConnotationIt is a lazy, ‘do-nothing’ pose, and the gesture is one of encouragement.MeaningMussolini (who stopped Hitler in 1934) is allowing – even encouraging – Hitler.Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

39 Austria is represented as a deer.
DenotationThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.Austria is represented as a deer.ConnotationDeer as beautiful, but vulnerable.(Although Austria was in fact a authoritarian, right-wing state.)MeaningNote how cartoonist misrepresents Austria (as delicate and vulnerable) in order to make Hitler look worse – i.e. this is a biased source.

40 Origin Details Significance The British cartoonist Bernard Partridge.
The deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.The British cartoonist Bernard Partridge.DetailsPartridge, as many British people, was alarmed by Hitler’s expansionism.SignificancePartridge is warning people of Hitler’s violent intentions; this is an anti-appeasement cartoon saying ‘why isn’t someone stopping him?’Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

41 A month before Anschluss, as the crisis was developing.
DateThe deer is labelled ‘Austrian Integrity’ and the sign says ‘Strictly Preserved’.February 1938.DetailsA month before Anschluss, as the crisis was developing.SignificancePartridge is predicting (and condemning) the Anschluss if nothing is done to stop Hitler.Drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.

42 At the back, Britain says to France, who is next-to-last: ‘Why should we take a stand about someone pushing someone else when it’s all so far away?’

43 Czechoslovakia/ Munich Conference

44 Munich Agreement 9/29/38Chamberlain

45 Deutschland Uber Alles (‘Germany over all’)
Deutschland Uber Alles (‘Germany over all’). 'Europe can look forward to a Christmas of peace'

46 March 15, 1939

47 Nazi-Soviet Pact

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