Dr.Seuss's Political Cartoons Essay

1191 words - 5 pages

In 1941, war loomed around every corner of America. It lurked like a plague, taking the lives of innocent people and instilling hatred and mistrust in the American society. Homes were broken, careers were lost, and hope soon faded as tension grew overseas. It was during this time when Theodore Seuss Geisel decided to battle evil the only way he could---through drawing. Long before "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham", Dr. Seuss, as he is most commonly known, drew political cartoons in hopes of restoring the dignity of America. Although he was already famous for his witty pesticides advertisements, a giant leap occurred in Seuss's career when his anger towards Nazism caused him to send his first political cartoon to a liberal newspaper called PM. Through his cartoons, Dr. Seuss tried to rid the world of wickedness by encouraging the American people to contribute to the war effort .In Dr. Seuss's portrayal of Adolf Hitler, his opposition towards the Nazi party is evident through his drawing style, the underlying messages behind the cartoons, and symbolism.Dr. Seuss's unique drawing style illustrates his hatred towards Nazism. Although he is known for his loveable, rounded and floppy-like cartoons, Dr. Seuss depicts Hitler in a cruel manner. Figures 4 and 5 exhibit Hitler as a chiseled chin, arrogant man. His head is high and his eyes are closed, indicating his snobbish and conceited attitude. The harsh crooked lines that detail his face mark his pompous expression. It is as though he is showing the public that he is greater than the foundations of America. This shows the reader that Hitler is aware of his power, and in doing so, makes the reader loathe the image. Through this depiction of Hitler, Dr. Seuss encourages the American public not to let him feel that pride. Dr. Seuss also mocks Hitler's appearance by drawing his signature mustache and hairstyle. As always, Hitler's hair is parted to the right side with a stand of hair coming down his left eye. This makes Hitler appear boyish instead of powerful and ruthless. Dr. Seuss also draws his mustache in a way that makes Hitler resemble Charlie Chaplin. These two characteristics of Hitler convey the image as comedic as well as powerful. In figure 3, Hitler is depicted as a cross between an elephant and a snake. Again, Dr. Seuss is mocking his nature. An elephant can be seen as a slow, dim-witted creature while as the snake has a more sneaky and treacherous nature. It is evident that these two animals alike are not the brightest, or the most respected in the animal kingdom. Dr. Seuss might have used this image to ease the feelings of fright in society. During this period of time, fear was a growing epidemic in America. However, this image demonstrates that America shouldn't cower over a brainless dictator.The messages conveyed in Dr. Seuss's cartoons exhibit his anti-Nazism views. In Figure 1, he emphasizes America's negligence of countries overseas. In this picture, a woman representing...

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