Monday, May 26, 2014


Given that the simple definition of SATIRE is 'the use of ridicule to mock and expose, in particular, folly or falsity', analyse each cartoon in terms of this definition.

Examine each cartoon on the literal (what do you see?), inferential (what is the message?) and evaluative levels (what tools has the author used to send the message?).

The Australian, 26/5/2014

Behind the lines - the year's best political cartoons 2011

A P.E.E.L paragraph evaluating the above cartoon using the three levels of meaning.

POINT: This cartoon is an excellent example of satire using ridicule to expose a current issue in society. LITERAL MEANING: The Cox&Forcum cartoon has used the everyday situation of friends leaving the movie theatre after seeing a movie, one clutching a drink in his hand. INFERENTIAL MEANING: It is the movie itself, The Day After Tomorrow, Environment Apocolypse, that creates the central message for the reader, that environmental activists may be reaching their use-by date because of their flawed attitude to humanity. EVALUATION: The satirist assumes the viewer knows this movie with its apocalyptic ending - the end of the world. The humor is found through the symbolic T-shirts the friends are wearing - one proclaims 'Earth First' while the other states 'Green Peace'. Once again the satirist assumes that those reading this cartoon know that these are real-life names of environmental activist groups who fight people and groups who they believe are ruining the environment. Perhaps the Green Peace activist with his non-degradable drink container just adds irony to the situation of saving the earth. The use of reversal where both activists bemoaned the ending because 'the humans lived', creates a chuckle, while at the same time revealing the satirist's attitude towards environmental activist groups like those represented in the cartoon. By using a pun of the subtitle of the movie, 'Environmental Apocolypse', the satirist is suggesting that maybe environmental activists are coming to an end. The satirist is suggesting that deep down environmental activists hate human beings, seeing them as a problem that needs to be eliminated. The cartoonist obviously values human life above the environment, or perhaps sees that eliminating human beings won't solve the earth's problems. By the use of irony, the satirist has successfully sent a message to society that perhaps society needs to rethink environmental activists regarding their attitude to humanity.   

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