Carbon Footprint, By Jeff Parker Essay

1178 words - 5 pages

A carbon footprint is a measure greenhouse gases produced through our daily activities. The average individual's carbon footprint is around three and a half. This means that humanity is using three and a half earths. This political cartoon by Jeff Parker addresses this popular issue. I will analyze this political cartoon according specific criteria, such as its design and visual elements, the genre, and type and spacial elements of the argument to provide a rhetorical analysis that considers the purpose, audience, and argument.
The visual argument portrays a large, black, foot rising out of the ground. This foot has writing on it saying “Carbon Footprint”. The foot is closely following a ...view middle of the document...

A cartoon also usually assumes the audience has an adequate amount of background knowledge on the audience. Cartoons are often conceptual drawings and this does not break the normal. The cartoon is creating literal symbolism for a carbon footprint as a large foot created from soot.
The cartoon was originally published in “Florida Today”. This is a newspaper as well as an online news website. The news usually pertains to Florida, but they also keep the rest of southeast in their sights as well. The original cartoon that was published in this paper is actually different from the one I am using. This one has a more generalized audience, but the original was actually designated at the residents of Florida. This is because they were at one point among the highest carbon footprint states in the United States of America. The problem is not only with Florida, rather the problem lies with everyone.
The cartoon uses large amounts of appeal to pathos. He created a sense of fear for the drivers of the car. This was mostly done through their crazy, frantic looking facial expressions. Also, the carbon footprint is substantially larger than the car they are driving. Also, for the more background knowledgeable audience, it created a sense of urgency or fear. This was because if the viewers understand the topic, they would fear the implications.
The cartoon is designed to make the carbon footprint important. This is because the footprint is the topic of the cartoon, carbon footprints. The footprint has bold white letters on the black foot. The large bold letters draw attention the footprint. The footprint also takes up a large chunk of the picture. On the other side, the hummer-like car is puny in comparison. The mirror disclaimer is smaller print and italicized. Use of type sizes and image sizes create the focus on the footprint.
The camera angle is from the front right of the car. This gives a sense that the drivers cannot run away from the approaching footprint. It also makes the footprint look even larger, drawing more attention. This combined with the lined background, simulating motion, creates a sense of eternal chase for the footprint and car. It is also a good angle to see the drivers facial expressions allowing the audience to acquire the sense of fear intended by the cartoon. At the same time the angles gives the audience a sense of separation from the pursuit happening in the cartoon, adding to the satirizing of...

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