The Tribune Content Agency ironically describes the critical situation of covid-19 during the Christmas holidays, comparing it with their refusal of accepting the election results by Donald Trump. The caption used along with the political cartoon states, “The president still refuses to accept the election results, and the coronavirus pandemic changes the way the world celebrates the holiday”. Phil Hands uses allusion, imagery, irony, and symbolic elements to reflect the catastrophic consequences of Covid-19 on the Christmas celebration this year contrasting the political attitude of Donald Trump refusing to accept the election results.
Firstly, the physical elements of the cartoon will be analyzed. The cartoon envisages a baby girl sitting on the doctor’s lap with a mask on, and saying to him “I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. I WANT TO PLAY WITH MY FRIENDS AND I WANT TO HUG MY GRANDPARENTS” (“President Donald Trump, the Coronavirus and Christmas”). The colors of the characters are very bright and eye-catching. The capital letters of the text emphasize the importance of the crux of the cartoon is relying on the girl’s words. The girl’s apprehension about celebrating Christmas is evident in her eyes and words. The physical elements used in the cartoon include the mask of the child and doctor, a stethoscope, lab coat, glasses, and abundant bottles of vaccines. The artist has labeled the glass bottles with “vaccine” to help the audience/observer to understand the image easily. Phil Hands uses a child to elucidate and amplify the intensity of sending the message to the entire global community.
Secondly, the figurative elements of the cartoon will be scrutinized. The artist uses allusion, imagery, irony, and symbolism to propagate his message to people. The abundant bottles of vaccines and face masks provide an allusion to the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Furthermore, the girl’s distress regarding not being able to celebrate Christmas, especially not being able to hug her grandparents (family) provides an allusion to social distancing and following the S.O.Ps during the coronavirus. The artist uses colorful comic images to elucidate his criticism of the current global situation and Trump’s political ambition over his public responsibilities. He uses the technique of imagery of a child and a doctor to grasp the attention of the audience towards his theme. Furthermore, the artist uses irony in his political cartoon by comparing Trump’s attitude with the global pandemic situation. The caption used with the cartoon asserting, “President still refuses to accept the election results and the coronavirus pandemic changes the way the world celebrates the holiday”(“President Donald Trump, the Coronavirus and Christmas”) reflects the ironic criticism of Donald Trump. The technique of symbolism is also intense in the image. The abundant vaccine bottles on the shelf and in the sack reflect the abundant resources present in the state. Regardless of these vaccine bottles, the doctor is anxiously sitting idle with the girl on his lap. These details reflect that regardless of abundant resources, the government is not utilizing these resources to tackle the crucial situation of Covid-19. The use of a child in the image is an important step by the artist which appeals to the audience.
Thirdly, Phil uses a comic cartoon of a doctor and a child to propagate the sensitive message about people and children suffering from the global pandemic. The government is not taking any appropriate step against the pandemic, regardless of their abundant resources. The main subject of the cartoon illustration is the drastic consequences of Covid-19 on the Christmas celebrations of 2020. Phil uses a girl to send his prime message to the audience. He uses a child to speak out his message to grasp the emotional appeal of the audience/observer. Emotional appeal is the strongest attention seeker for an artist or a writer. The audience gets emotionally attached to the political cartoon and analyzes the message of the cartoon profoundly fulfilling the purpose of the artist.
In a nutshell, the artist uses profound explicating techniques to exhibit his message through the cartoon. The circumstantial details drawn by him call the audience/observer to analyze the cartoon and seek the hidden message. The artist is illuminating the political scenario of the government which is not utilizing its resources and attention toward the real cause of the covid-19 critical situation.
“President Donald Trump, the Coronavirus and Christmas: The Week in Cartoons for Dec. 21-25.” US News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/cartoons/2020/12/21/president-donald-trump-the-coronavirus-and-christmas-the-week-in-cartoons-for-dec-21-25. Accessed 1 Jan. 2021.