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A Multidisciplinary Linguistic Analysis of selected English
and Arabic Political Cartoons:
Mohamed, Sondos Mohamed Abdel-Haleem.
هيئة الاعداد
باحث / سندس محمد عبدالحليم محمد
مشرف / عزة عبد الفتاح عابدين
مشرف / مروة عادل ناصر
تاريخ النشر
عدد الصفحات
216 P. :
اللغة واللسانيات
تاريخ الإجازة
مكان الإجازة
جامعة عين شمس - كلية البنات - قسم اللغة الانجليزية
Only 14 pages are availabe for public view


Cartoons have become so popular and prevalent in our modern societies to the extent that ”some newspapers and magazines are sought by some readers because of their cartoons” (Onapka, 2014, p. 33). A cartoon is a simple drawing demonstrating the characteristics of its subjects in an amusingly exaggerated way, especially a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine. Thus, ”the cartoon serves as a capsule version of editorial opinion meant for the reading public to swallow and probably get some societal ills cured” (Onapka, 2014, p. 36). In other words, the image as well as the attached captions not only create humor, but also serve to affect the readers’ mind sets towards the addressed issues and the lampooned characters.
This study discusses how political cartoons carry persuasive messages via the interplay between images and texts (captions). The analyzed data comprise some American and Egyptian cartoons on the American presidential election 2020-2021 and COVID-19 as represented on the internet. The presidential election and COVID-19 were chosen for investigation since they were the most pervasive topics in 2020 and 2021.
Objectives of the study
The current study is concerned with the way cartoonists communicate their public stance through the choice of words as well as the way images are drawn. This dissertation aims at:
1) demonstrating how symbolism is represented in the selected political cartoons
2) showing how visual modes are manifested in the selected American and Egyptian political cartoons
3) exploring how the verbal choices of the cartoonists reveal their attitudes and stances towards some events to manipulate the audience and change their mindsets or ideologies
4) Examining the various mechanisms and script oppositions that exist in the selected images and how they help create humor.
Research Questions
The present study endeavors to answer the following research questions:
1) How is symbolism represented in the American and Egyptian cartoons?
2) How are the multimodal modes visually reflected in the selected Egyptian and American cartoons?
3) How are values and attitudes expressed verbally and visually in political cartoons?
4) What are the most deployed techniques to create humor?
Theoretical Framework
1) Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) Visual Grammar
2) Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal Theory
3) Economou’s (2009) Verbal-visual Appraisal Model
4) Attardo’s (2001) General Theory of Verbal Humor
Organization of the Study
The present study is divided into six chapters that are introduced as follows:
Chapter one is an introduction to the whole study. It includes the objectives of the study, the research hypotheses and the main research questions.
Chapter two provides a review of the literature where the researcher discusses the theoretical bases of the utilized frameworks and some related previous studies.
Chapter three deals with the theoretical frameworks used to conduct the analysis along with the research methodology.
Chapter four provides an analysis of the selected American and Egyptian political cartoons presenting the American presidential election.
Chapter five investigates the selected American and Egyptian political cartoons on COVID-19.
Chapter six discusses the findings and results of the dissertation. The study reached the conclusion that:
1- The American cartoons included more symbols than the Egyptian cartoons, which indicates that the American cartoonists have more freedom of expression than the Egyptian cartoonists.
2- American and Egyptian cartoons focus on representing narrative processes that mainly include unidirectional and bidirectional actions to reach the effect of being more interactive and amusing.
3- Political cartoons reflect true events and situations to grab viewer’s attention.
4- The American and Egyptian cartoons rely more on offer images in order to give the viewer an opportunity to evaluate the situation and judge the represented figures.
5- Most of the selected data whether Egyptian or American ridiculed Trump and represented him as a fit for nothing person who cannot be the president of the United States.
6- The Egyptian cartoonists tried to criticize the Egyptian government in a subtle way.
7- Political cartoons can serve as an influential multimodal domain that encompasses various semiotic resources to convey a meaningful and persuasive message. Consequently, this helps in directing people’s ideologies concerning the current issues.
8- The analytical tools of the GTVH, especially the knowledge resources and the punch line proved to be of great importance to give a feasible framework that accounts for exploring humorous multimodal texts combining verbal and visual modes.