Cartoons appear in the GAMSAT each year. Cartoons contain persuasive techniques that get the message across. These include:

Cartoonists use symbols/simple objects to stand for larger concepts or ideas. Once you have identified the symbols in a cartoon, think about what each symbol might stand for.

Irony is the difference between the ways things are and the way things should be or expected to be. Cartoonists often use irony to express their opinion about an issue. When you look at a cartoon, see if you can find any irony in the situation the cartoon depicts. If you can, think about what point the irony might be intended to emphasize. Does the irony help the cartoonist express their opinion more effectively?

Cartoonists usually exaggerate the physical characteristics of people/things in order to make a point. When you are studying a cartoon keep an eye out for any characteristics that seem overdone and then try to think what point the cartoonist is trying to make by this exaggeration. (Facial characteristics/clothing are mostly exaggerated).

An analogy is a comparison between two unlike things. By comparing a complex issue or situation with a more familiar one, cartoonists can help their readers see it in a different light. After you’ve studied a cartoon for a while, try to decide what the cartoon’s main analogy is. What two situations is the cartoon comparing? Once you understand the main analogy, decide if this comparison makes the cartoonist’s point more clear.

Happy Studying 🙂

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