I have learned that thought goes into every detail in a photograph/political cartoon/framing of a scene etc. The amount of symbolism that can be found in each object, color, and background urges me to look past the surface of the photo and dig deeper. I also learned that researching the context and why the cartoonist/director may have chosen to depict an issue a certain way would provide another dimension for the analysis, just like analyzing a piece of literature.
How are ideas communicated through the interaction of visual and lexical elements?
Ideas are communicated through the placement of objects, (for example, if a man is higher than the woman in the cartoon, it may represent the power that males exert over females in today’s society), colors and their uses (the use of red may symbolise warnings, blood, thus depicting danger and fear), and facial expressions/lack of (if there’s no face it may mean the anonymity and perhaps power they control). Every single detail is used to represent an idea or an opinion, but more than that, it strives to present a NEW idea to a current issue or an already known topic. The ability of these symbolic items to interact with texts and captions creates a new depth to the cartoon. Often satirical lexicon is used to grab the attention of those who are viewing the cartoon to incentivise them to continue looking further. In our cartoon, we used “money or honey”, a play on words to make it rhyme, and for it to relate to the visual of Winnie the pooh reaching for the honey. We labeled honey the “security law”, making the context easier to follow and analyse. The words gave insight into the context, but the visuals gave insight into China’s fundamental greed for power by associating him with pooh, who will do anything for his honey!
What are the similarities and differences between an opinion article and a political cartoon?
Opinion articles follow a particular structure, whereas political cartoons rely much on the artist’s creativity and originality. Political cartoons use tactics such as exaggeration of a certain feature (the mouth), to suggest the character’s loudness, ability to reach people/annoy or their public platform. Opinion articles are not able to exaggerate features or draw too much symbolism since it is meant to be presenting more factual information, whereas a political cartoon can take a clear stand.