Slaying the Beast

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Jacquelyn Archey
Mr. Gans
AP Lang – Period 3
11/14/12
Slaying the Beast
Perched on a rock, the heroic victor leans on his bloodied sword with the decapitated head from the six-headed beast raised up towards the light. His patriotic toga remains wrapped dutifully around his shoulder while the remaining five heads sneer in disgust and plot their revenge behind him. This Greek mythological hero is anything but; he is American president Barack Obama holding the disapproving, lifeless head of Osama bin Laden in his hand. In this political cartoon by the U.K. Andy Davey from The Sun newspaper in London. Davey strategically uses rhetorical devices such as Name Calling, Propaganda and Emotion, and Transfer in order to further strengthen his argument being made by the piece. The use of such propaganda provides a backbone to which the audience is able to refer to while analyzing the cartoon and subconsciously absorbing the information. The idea conveyed though a picture is not much different from that of an article or essay. The visual aspect is appealing and also can be interpreted in many ways, but it is often clear what the artist is attempting to portray. The American flag worn by Obama in the illustration, for example, provokes a certain feeling of pride and patriotism within Americans and that sense of freedom and loyalty is also felt by American allies. We as the audience know this because this cartoon was released the day after the raid that killed bin Laden and in addition, was published in a country apart from the ones directly involved in the attack. Davey knew that the mere symbol of the red, white, and blue stars and stripes was enough to invoke a sense of pride into the audience’s mind without having it unfurled and raised high on a pole as it is commonly shown. Propaganda is created in order to incite a specific feeling in the audience’s mind set. “…our emotion is the stuff with which propagandists work… They can make us glow with pride or burn with...
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