S te re otyp e s aris e in ch ild re ns live s from th e ir d ire ct e xp e rie nce and als o from th e m e d ia. Tod ay, te le vis ion and m ovie s s e rve as an im p ortant s ocializing fu nction s u p p lying m any ch ild re n with im age s th at can form , ch ange , and re inforce s te re otyp e s . R e s e arch e rs h ave fou nd th at b y
stereotype is a p re conce ive d id e a th at attrib u te s ce rtain ch aracte ris tics (in ge ne ral) to all th e m e m b e rs of clas s or s e t. Th e te rm is ofte n u s e d with a ne gative connotation wh e n re fe rring to an ove rs im p lifie d , e xagge rate d , or d e m e aning as s u m p tion th at a p articu lar ind ivid u al p os s e s s e s th e ch aracte ris tics as s ociate d with th e clas s d u e to h is or h e r m e m b e rs h ip in
Use this guide to identify the persuasive techniques used in cartoons. Cartoonists use simple objects, or symbols, to stand for larger Symbolism concepts or ideas. Sometimes cartoonists overdo, or exaggerate, the physical Exaggeration characteristics of people or things in order to make a point. Cartoonists often label objects or people to make it clear exactly Labeling what they stand for. An analogy is a comparison between two unlike things that share some characteristics. By comparing a complex issue or Analogy situation with a more familiar one, cartoonists can help their readers see it in a different light. Irony is the difference between the ways things are and the way things should be, or the way things are expected to be. Irony Cartoonists often use irony to express their opinion on an issue.
After the students have completed the questionnaire, discuss their findings.
What is the event or issue that inspired the cartoon? How do you know? Are there any real people or places in the cartoon? If not, what images are portrayed? Identify the specific artistic techniques used in the cartoon (e.g., symbolism, analogy,exaggeration, labeling, and irony). What is the artist trying to show the reader by using these techniques? Are there aspects of the cartoon (e.g., clothing styles, animals, or activities) that serve as symbols (metaphors) that represent the cartoonist’s point of view? What action is taking place in the cartoon?
Do you believe the cartoonist intends to produce a particular emotional response? Do you believe this cartoon is successful in producing the effect the artist intended? Explain why or why not. How were the different groups (e.g., race, sex) portrayed? Do you think someones opinions about other groups of people might be influenced at all by the comic books read? How about you? Might yours?
what do you think is the ‘message’ of this cartoon? Who is the ‘target’? Do you recognize the character? Look at the expressions, are they happy? Does this image send a good or bad impression? Why?