Analysis of political cartoons

‘ Minimum Wage Hike’ by Steve Breen Cartoons are used by cartoonists to communicate effectively a certain messageto varied segments of populations in different countries and the world over. More so, political cartoons are widely known for their efficacy in relaying messages and at times to caricature certain individuals or aspects of the society. This paper attempts to decode a political cartoon and analyze its persuasive technique. Further, it compares the impact of the written text with that of a cartoon on the same issue.
Looking at a cartoon minimum wage hike by a political cartoonist, Steve Breen, I realize that he has presented a very weighty issue of wage hike in contemporary societies, and the mechanisms that are either set in motion in its anticipation or brought about by its occurrence. The stable man withstanding the weight of an equally bulky man on top portrays small businesses in the economy of nations that more often than not, bear the weight of the pay hikes which despite their minimal status, bear huge weight on the small businesses.
Despite the massive burden of the pay hike, the small businesses are seen to be resilient and persevere to sustain themselves and the weight altogether. The cartoon also displays some unethical practices occasioned by the introduction of the hike. Physically, the cartoon, shows the bulky individual-the weight- mercilessly down treading on rather clean and well pressed shirt of the man bearing the weight, introducing dirty marks on the shirt. Moreover, upon reaching the top, the carried man steps right in the nose of the one below, thereby suffocating him. Furthermore, the carried individual mercilessly strikes the eye of the one below and by that blinding him.
In trying to decode this last range of observations, these acts could indicate the confusion that come with such issues of pay hike. The dirtying, blinding and the suffocation in the process of bearing the weight is suggestive of the corrupt practices and all other forms of unethical practices that the small businesses suffer from. The level of grooming of the man on the top is also suggestive of a golfer; a game conventionally associated with the wealthy. This can only suggest that those who go about corrupting the systems to their advantage are by majority, the wealthy.
Comparably, the cartoon text seems to compute with more impact than the plainly written text about the same issue. This is because the visual impact of a cartoon is more enhanced than that of the written text. It is also agreeable that the use of different colors at different points of the cartoon enhances the visual attraction and the ability to understand the cartoon as compared to the text. The next aspect is the fact that a cartoon can be understood even by the illiterate. One only needs to be in touch with contemporary societal issues, and they will be good to unravel the content and message in the cartoon. This is not true with the written text.
Finally, a single cartoon on a small section of the page can carry lots of information as compared with the written text. For the same amount of information to be conveyed by the text, it would a relatively larger space. Cartoons are also entertaining. In conclusion, cartoons provide an effective way of communication, and as exhibited by the ‘ minimum pay hike’ by Steve Breen, it should be used alongside other forms to enhance communication.
‘ Minimum Wage Hike’ by political cartoonist Steve Breen: http://www. cagle. com