Friday, February 26, 2010

The Donkey & the Elephant

In this weeks reading, it was interesting to see how little it took for King Louis Philippe to be refereed to as a pear, and how easy this symbol stuck to society. The reading states, "the caricature of King Louis Philippe in the shape of a pear- simply saying, "The king is not a pear" made it possible for future speakers to use pear to refer, in fact, to the king." Caricature can and has had such an effect on shaping various aspects of society. This fact got me thinking about the two, commonly used symbols, created through caricature, that we now recognize as our Democratic and Republican parties, the Donkey and the Elephant. These two symbols are used so commonly in caricature, and are so recognizable to our society. Take this caricature for example; no one would think twice about why our President Obama is riding in a car with a Donkey and an Elephant. We automatically connect these two symbols as the two political parties that run our nation, and therefor, we are able to make sense of this political cartoon.
Its amazing to see how much caricature, and its history still affects our society today. Many of us would never think twice about why an organization as powerful as our Political Parties are represented by animals, none the less, a "Jackass" and an over sized mammal. These symbols have been imprinted in our minds by caricature, as the values and the faces of the political parties and presidents they represent.

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