Working with cartoons

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Version vom 20. Mai 2022, 15:33 Uhr von Matthias Scharwies (Diskussion | Beiträge) (Full Interpretation ���� Message:)
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Topic sentence

The topic sentence stating what you think to be the message of the cartoon! (Thesis!)


Mention only those details that help to create the message!

a) Picture(s) and their elements

  • How many separate drawings/frames does the cartoonist use?
  • What effect does this have (e.g. ... shows development / contrast/before and after ....)?
  • Who are the people, (current) events, or institutions depicted? (Brief summary; Source of this information?) What is happening?
  • What (different) size are the characters and objects shown in the drawings? What colours are used (contrasts?)
  • What is in the background/foreground/centre?

b) Words/bubbles:

  • Does the cartoonist use labels/speech bubbles/captions to help to get his/her ideas across? What do they say?
  • What words are in bold letters? (→ for emotions e.g. EEK, YUK.)
  • What words are made up to convey sound?

c) Symbols / Stylistic devices/ Bias:

  • What symbols (colours!) are used? What do they represent?
  • How do the symbols help to convey the message?
  • Look for exaggeration, puns, irony and juxtaposition!
  • Who looks nice, kind, helpful, ...? - Who looks ugly, cruel, stupid, ...?
  • What gestures/facial features are used to convey expressions e.g.:
    happiness, meanness, annoyance, surprise?
  • Does the cartoonist take sides?

Full Interpretation → Message:

  • What does the cartoon say/express? see topic sentence of your interpretation.
  • What do the frames/element, bubbles stand for/ express?
  • What ideas does the cartoonist want us to think about/criticize?
  • What do you think about the issue/do you agree/disagree?

You can also (it helps to avoid repetitions) combine steps 1 and 2!

  • Describe and immediately interpret every relevant elements of the cartoon and then
  • Formulate the overall message of the cartoon (and e.g. if you agree

Useful Vocabulary


Siehe auch


Analysis of Cartoons

Cartoons online