Rhetorical Analysis of a Cartoon

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Rhetorical Analysis of a Cartoon
As the presidential election approaches, America is split, debating between Republicans and Democrats, but there is one thing that they all would agree on: the price of gas, and how ridiculous it has become. Over the summer, for the first time ever the national average for gas hit four dollars a gallon. I am going to guess that I didn’t have to tell you that- you already knew. Since most Americans are against high gas prices, it makes it easy for a cartoonist to publish works relative to the subject. Marshall Ramsey’s 2008 cartoon,” Make them wish for $3 dollar gas,” focuses on the role of the oil corporations in the highly inflated price of gasoline by depicting the company heads as greedy conmen swindling money from the U.S. citizens.

When first glancing at the cartoon I noticed what appears to be a business meeting going on. The largest image on the screen is the major chart on the wall with the arrow pointing from three dollars to four dollars. The graph is also on the far left of the cartoon and we usually look at things from left to right, so it is the first thing we see. This is used mainly as an attention-getter, for when the reader first looks at the graph it draws the question, “Why does the graph show the values three and four dollars?” I generally think of an office meeting graph containing large value of money, not three dollars. The graph is also very plain, containing a single line pointing in one direction. Why would the creator not put much detail into the graph? He doesn’t have to, the graph does exactly what it is supposed to: to draw attention and introduce us to the subject of the cartoon.

After the initial glance we are drawn from the graph to the actual meeting that is being depicted. There are three funny looking men who are obviously supposed to represent the CEOs of the gasoline companies. They don’t look like CEOs to me, I think they depict conmen. Looking at the facial...
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