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Decoding Political Satire- An Analysis of a Cartoon Depicting Current Issues

Decoding Political Satire- An Analysis of a Cartoon Depicting Current Issues

Undoubtedly, when one looks at this image, the representation is that the cartoon makes a powerful representation of the notion of the United States of America’s dominance and its presence in virtually every aspect of the known universe. By so saying, it suffices to say that the representation is seen to be on the moon’s surface or the planet Mars, whereas actual robots have been seen to be physical. It is seen that planting their flag on this surface is a mark of their dominance and presence (Ikenberry, 2002). Also, the one individual saying, “…it’s from the United States, so it must be a gun,” is a symbolic meaning. Furthermore, the fact that the rovers are not depicted as having a big camera suggests the curiosity of the US to explore various cultures of other nations around the world. However, the twist is that they want other nations to be like them. As such, it explains why one of the ‘creatures’ thinks it is not a rover but a gun because the US has always been known to interfere with other nations’ affairs either through peace or forcefully by supplying weapons to warring factions in various countries. It suffices to say that this is a symbolic representation, and it does not mean that the American government is providing rifles to outer space organisms.

Furthermore, the one who speaks the lines represents those who live in nations where the US government has marked their presence and dominance. In this case, the person is afraid and raises their arms. It represents the ordinary persons whose only understanding of the presence of the United States means violence and the usurping of their governments. Also, it is crucial to understand that the general subject of the cartoon is that it shows the negative perception of the US in the exerting of their influence. It tells of how people mistake their intentions, even if they are harmless, due to their history of meddling in the affairs of other nations around the world (Anholt, 2005).


Anholt, S. (2005). Anholt nation brands index: how does the world see America?. Journal of Advertising Research45(3), 296-304.

Ikenberry, G. J. (2002). America’s imperial ambition. Foreign affairs, 44-60.


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compose a two- or three-paragraph response in which you analyze the political cartoon below.

In two or three paragraphs, answer the following questions as you analyze the cartoon:

Decoding Political Satire- An Analysis of a Cartoon Depicting Current Issues

Decoding Political Satire- An Analysis of a Cartoon Depicting Current Issues

• What scene is depicted? Identify the situation.
• Identify each of the figures in the cartoon. Are they current politicians, figures from history or literature, the “person in the street,” or symbolic representations?
• Who speaks the lines in the cartoon?
• What is the cartoon’s general subject? What is the point of the cartoon, the claim of the cartoonist?

© 2012 Jim Morin/Morintoons Syndicate. Reprinted with permission.
Source: D. Seyler in Read, Reason, and Write

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