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How to analyse a cartoon?

General tips for any language analysis:

- Always go from the macro to the micro – from the context to the little details

- In the introduction identify the type of text, the purpose and audience (see below about the last two)

- Always conclude

- Use as much relevant terminology as you can BUT DON’T USE WORDS YOU DON’T KNOW THE MEANING OF

- During the two last paragraphs (when you get into the micro) try to include the effect of each literary device on the reader – how does it affect the tone? How does it affect the mood? – EXAMINERS LOVE THIS

1. Purpose – what is the purpose of cartoons in general and what is the purpose of this one? (can have more than one)

- Commentary – political or social

- Entertainment

- Bringing light on a debatable subject

2. Audience reception – use theories learnt in class or during tutorials

e.g. Hall and Morley

      - Dominant

      - Negotiated

      - Oppositional

3. Technique – identify one within each and give evidence of them:

 a) Artistic Techniques (evidence to look for: caricatures, exaggerated features, symbols)

    -  Abstract

    -  Iconic

    -  Realistic

b) Humor techniques

   -  Lampooning

   -  Pun

   -  Satire

   - Black humor

   - Parody

   - Juxtaposition

   - Allusion

4. Imagery – within each part, answer the questions by looking at the details of the cartoon

a) People – Who are the people in the cartoon? What are they doing?

b) Objects – What are the physical items included? (include metonyms and symbols)

c) Language – What effect does the writing have? (TONE AND MOOD)

Julia R. IB English Language tutor, IB Business Studies tutor

1 year ago

Answered by Julia, an IB English Language tutor with MyTutor


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