Political Cartoon Assignment “Political cartoons use caricature, symbols, humor, ridicule, and exaggeration to make arguments and comment on political events. Even before the American Revolution, political cartoons had the power to shape public opinion. Some political cartoons are funny. Others are satirical. Some are ferocious. Frequently, political cartoons spark outrage. In 2006, cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, which caricatured the prophet Mohammad, touched off violent protests across the Muslim world. Political cartoons use caricature, symbols, humor, ridicule, and exaggeration to make arguments and comment on political events. Entire political arguments can be summed up in a single line in a political cartoon. Often, political cartoons are criticized for being one-sided and unfair. But an effective cartoon makes readers think.” – from Digital History: Attached you will find two political cartoons. The first is by SJ Ray (SJ Ray, Plague of Japanese Beetles, December 1942) and the second by Dr Seuss (Dr Seuss, Honorable Fifth Column, Feb. 13, 1942). In this assignment you are to analyze these two cartoons (read the chapter I uploaded for more information). Imagine that you are seeking to explain the meaning and significance of these cartoons to someone with virtually no understanding of the time period. Your paper should address the following questions: What related issue do both cartoons deal with? (Pay attention to the subject matter as well as the dates in determining this.) What are the ideas, symbols, and message of each cartoon? Most importantly, as historians, what can these cartoons tell us about the past?
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