Analyzing Political Cartoons

Political cartoons are generally thought-provoking and strive to educate the viewer about a current issue. Through the use of symbols, caricatures, and exaggerations, the cartoonist points out the trends, themes, and problems of a given time. They are an influential means of bringing commentary on important local and world issues into our lives.

Search & Identify

Search news sources for political cartoons, and choose one of interest to you.

  • Identify the people in the cartoon. What are they doing? What emotions are represented?
  • Identify the objects in the cartoon. Are any of these symbols? What do they symbolize?
  • Use this information to identify the current issue being addressed by the cartoonist.


Cartoonists will employ different techniques to draw the reader’s attention to a certain point of view. (For example, they may exaggerate physical features or use symbols or plays on words.)

  • Identify the techniques used in this cartoon. How are they effective in conveying a particular point of view?
  • What is the point of view being expressed?
  • Who might agree with this point of view? Who might disagree?


How might political cartoons affect public support of parliamentarians or of the decisions they make?