“Political Cartoons encourage viewers to criticize elements of their society. How does the following cartoon encourage us to do this?” |
Many Asylum seeker boats approach our shores every day the majority of them don’t make it and they sink the members of our parliament like to turn a blind eye and pretend nothing’s happening. The symbolism of the politicians sticking their heads n the sand like an ostrich, tells us that they are ignore the sinking boat because they don’t want to deal with it. Most Political cartoons involve ‘satire’; satire is a genre or literature in which abuse, vices, follies and shortcomings are held up to ridicule. Satire is usually mean to be funny but sometimes can be offensive or can be taken as social criticism, using wit as a weapon. This essay will be focusing on the attached political cartoon titled: “Heads in the Sand”
The political cartoon includes only a few literal things such as: the sea, an island (supposedly Australia’s coast), a sinking ship and then Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard with their heads in the sand. The sinking ship is an asylum seeker boat, sinking like the famous Titanic. We know that the figures with their heads in the sand are Julia and Tony because of their clothes. When a caricature is drawn of a person the cartoonist makes the most notable feature stand out, for example, Tony Abbott’s ears or John Howards bottom, lip this is so we can easily recognise them. In this picture (because we can’t see the figures heads) we have to try and figure out who they are by their clothing, in this case it’s quite simple. The figure on the left is easily the Opposition leader Tony abbot because of the red Speedos he is wearing in the cartoon, Tony Abbott has participated in a few triathlons over the years, and every time he has worn his Speedos that is why he is depicted this way. The person on the right could only be the Prime Minister Julia Gillard because of the clothes she is wearing, most times that you see the prime minister she is wearing plain clothes because she isn’t a real fashionista she wears simple black and white clothing most of the time. Also her shoes give it away because of that one time Julia Gillard tripped over when she was wearing heels so now she always wears flat shoes to avoid another incident. It is sometimes hard to understand who is in a political cartoon if they are not clearly labelled but after you have analysed the cartoon you begin to realise which features stick out.
What is happening in the cartoon is that the Asylum Seekers boat is sinking not too far off our shores, and then towards the front of the picture you see Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott with their heads in the sand like ostriches. Ostriches dig their heads into the ground when they are scared, hoping to