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How To Interpret A Cartoon: Learn How To Understand The Funny Part of A Cartoon.

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Learn how to interpret the cartoons in your daily newspaper by utilising a very easy method. You will be able to explain all of the cartoons in tomorrow's newspaper if you would just read this article.

Every morning you see one or two (or maybe even three!) cartoons in the newspaper. All you know is that they are telling you about something that is happening in the world right now. You probably know what the cartoon is all about, it could be telling you a joke about the financial crisis, it could be a political cartoon, it could be anything that is currently in the news. But you just don't know how to interpret the cartoon, you don't know what's so funny about this cartoon.The goal of this article is to help you interpret cartoons so you will be able to look at all of the cartoons in the newspaper each morning and laugh out loud. There are four things that you will need to do to fully understand what a cartoon is all about. In this example interpretation we will be using this cartoon:


  • Look: The first thing that you got to do is to write down everything you see.

I see:

- The tower of Pisa

- Three tourists, one of them says: "Ten to one it was a non-union project".

When you are done writing down everything you have seen it is time to think about what the funny part of this cartoon is; what the cartoonist wants to tell his/her readers.

  • The interpretation

The three tourists are drawn as relatively young and naive people. We know they are tourists because they have a photo camera with them. We can also assume those tourists have not experienced the time before the European Union because one of them says: "Ten to one it was a non-union project", they probably think everything was bad before the launch of the European Union. There you go, a great interpretation.

Combining those points I think the cartoonist wants to tell us that some (naive) people would rather forget about the times before the launch of the European Union, and that those people are wrong because those times weren't that bad.

Having both looked at and thought about this cartoon I think you can successfully decipher the cartoons in the newspaper tomorrow morning. Just remember, there are multiple interpretations for a specific cartoon and your own opinion is never wrong, but only the cartoonist really knows what the cartoon is all about.

Thank you for reading my article and good luck with deciphering tomorrow's cartoons!

1 comment

Guimo Pantuhan
Posted on Oct 20, 2011

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