Analysis of the Two Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

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Lisa Benson’s a political cartoon artist is popular in the USA because her drawings are accurate, funny, and ironic. She often draws new pictures which reflect a certain political event, an inappropriate statement from politicians, or even a social media post, and her style is very easy to recognize. The two presented political cartoons by Lisa Benson devoted to the presidential race of 2016 and 2020, in which she mocks and focused on accusations in the dishonest acts of Donald Trump. The main figure of both pre-election races is the infamous Donald Trump, who is known worldwide for his harsh and irrational decisions and statements. Besides, the businessman is often accused of using his wealth to receive his own personal goals, including electoral victories. Lisa Benson painting reflected this fact in both political cartoons. The drawings with a difference of three years have many similarities, since they show almost the same political event and character. The author used exaggeration for both pictures, since in the 2016 caricature the dead voters literally rising from the grave to give his vote, and in the second one Trump drags a huge bag of money which show his opponent squashed. Besides, a common feature of these two political cartoons, like many other works of Lisa Benson, shows a hidden irony as for their understanding, the reader must know the context of the event. However, the message of these works is quite simple, even for people who don't care about politics as they face Trump's accusations every day by watching the news or TV shows.

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There are practically no differences between the two images, but the reader may notice some of them. Firstly, in the cartoon image of 2019, there are several symbols which make the situation understandable for the reader, but the signatures or phrases of the characters are missing. On Trump's baseball cap, the author portrayed Trump's campaigning 2020 slogan “ Keep America Great” as an abbreviation. Since his slogan of the 2016 was “ Make American, Great Again” but abbreviated “MAGA”. Lisa includes the dollar sign and symbols used for the campaign on the bag, and give the woman who was crushed with the bag a sign “Resist” (Benson, 2019). These symbols are close to Americans as they meet them daily on social networks, on TV, and the tablet in the hands of a woman makes it clear that money is the primary means of fighting Trump with his opponents.

The 2016 caricature has no symbols, but Benson conveys the meaning of the message through exaggeration and direct speech. The skeleton which climbed out of the grave is a way to show the rumor that election results were manipulated, since people who were no longer alive gave their votes for one of the candidates. The skeleton phrase also shows the absurdity of the situation as the dead voter is surprised by the presidential candidates (Benson, 2016). Benson also made an inscription on the gravestone and the papers so that readers could understand her message without further explanation. Though, this political pattern has fewer elements and symbols, and its meaning and spirit is conveyed through the phrase.

Moreover, an important difference in political drawings is that although Donald Trump is the central character of the messages, his image is only in one of the pictures, and in the second he is only mentioned. However, both ways of illstuate ideas that are useful as they make the readers smile, but at the same time, force them to think. For this reason, both Benson’s designs fulfill their purpose and deliver the message to the voters.

In conclusion, the two political cartoons of Lisa Benson have many similar elements, since they both touch upon the topic of elections and the participation of Donald Trump in them. Their minor differences are the image or its absence of the main character of the message in the drawing itself, as well as the presence of symbols in one cartoon and direct speech in another. However, the theme of both pictures as well as some of the problems of America are the same, and the author conveys them by using different tools successfully.

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