Comparing and Contrasting Cartoons

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Both of the following two texts, a cartoon strip and an extract from a memoir, share similarities and differences regarding the theme and context, audience, purpose as well as certain formal and stylistic features.

The first extract is a cartoon strip written in 1986 by Cathy Guisewite. The cartoon features four panels with three female characters with narrations and speech bubbles to emphasize dialogue and the message regarding women’s rights and sex stereotyping. The context of the cartoon is to show the inequalities between genders. This is evident, when the women begin to associate boys with certain stereotypes such as “strong” and “tough”. Therefore indicating that women and girls today are portrayed to be the opposite. The first example of sex stereotyping is seen in the first panel of the cartoon when the first women asks the mother “is it a boy or a girl?” with the mother responding, “This is our baby’s chance to get to meet people totally free from sex stereotyping.” Therefore indicating that the mother is against sex stereotyping. Another example of sex stereotyping is featured in the second panel when the woman begins to associate boys by certain stereotypes such as phrases “look at that strong fist” and “mischievous sparkle”. The use of these phrases further emphasizes the fact that even today boys and girls are associated with certain words in order to define them as human beings in our society today. This stereotyping is continued even into the third panel of the cartoon when the woman yet again begins to use stereotypes by using the phrase “what a kicker! You have a tough strong.” The strong use of the emanata in order to emphasize the strong emotions shown by the mother is used in the last speech bubble of the third panel when she angrily replies, “Girl, she’s a girl! A tough strong girl.” This outburst is quite important in the cartoon as it shows that the mother has had enough with gender stereotyping. This is shown by the strong use of emanata and by simply looking at the drawing of her angry and annoyed facial expressions. The use of the words “tough, strong girl” indicated that boys are not better than girls and that we are all created equal. This phrase is significant as it shows the mother speaking out for what she believes in, and standing up to women’s rights and gender stereotyping. The final panel is quite ironic due to the fact that as the reader, we would tend to think that after the mother’s outburst there would be no more use of stereotyping. However, it continues again with the women using the word “ precious” to stereotype the little baby girl. The annoyance of the mother is emphasized by her facial expression at the end. This cartoon would be aimed towards a younger or middle-aged generation since it is being represented in a picture cartoon form and would probably be published in newspapers or magazines. The purpose of the cartoon is to influence the issues such as gender inequality in today’s society. The cartoon uses cartoon narrative throughout in order to question societal norms. Throughout each panel captions are used with different font sizes. The font being expressed in all capital letter along with the punctuation in order to emphasize the tone. The writing style consists of short dialogue and the cartoon seems to be used in a more generic perspective in order to create the effect of the cartoon being for entertainment as well as intellectual purposes towards the reader.

The second text is an extract from a memoir by Shusha Guppy, “The Blindfolded Horse, Memories of a Persian Childhood”, written in 1988. The beginning of the memoir starts by the introduction the Shusha Guppy’s birth using the first person perspective. This is evident by the use of certain words such as “my mothers” and “my sister.” From the beginning of the extract the reader can instantly notice what the role of women in Persia used to be. This is evident by the use of the phrase “Sufficient unto...
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