IB DP Language A Language and Literature -sample text analysis – Obama cartoon

Text: Steve Breen.”Obama and Superman.” San Diego New Tribune. 2008/07/25. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/sd-18-obama-editorial-cartoons-through-years-20170120-htmlstory.html

Before you read the “spoiler” bullet points below take a careful look at the text. Imagine it is a text you are using for your DP Language A Language and Literature assessments ( Paper 1, the individual oral, the HL essay,) and analyze it accordingly. This text would not be appropriate for Paper 2.

Paper 1: first take a careful look at criteria A and B . Then, consider how you would approach this particular text in light of the requirements of criteria A and B.

Individual oral: Start by looking at criteria A and B for the IO. There are some similarities between the criteria in the individual oral and those in Paper 1. However, the individual oral also requires students to make connections between extracts from a work and body of work. The individual oral must make connections with the global issue that the student has chosen. Consider how this text is linked to different global issues.

HL essay: The HL essay is an in-depth analysis of a non-literary body of work or a literary work the student has studied in class. Imagine this text is from a non-literary body of work and consider possible approaches you could take with the 1200-1500 word HL essay. This could include evaluating connections between this text and the seven central concepts in DP Language A Language and Literature.

Some elements of this text to consider:

  • What this cartoon is saying about the relationship between Barack Obama and the media and what part of the political spectrum it comes from.
  • What the editorial cartoon is trying to say about the media’s treatment of Obama.
  • The use of exaggeration (e.g. Obama’s ears) in the editorial cartoon which is a common feature of this kind of text
  • The use of the title and labels to provide basic information to readers (another common feature found in editorial cartoons)
  • The facial expressions and the use of the the pink hearts and their intended effect on the audience.

2 thoughts on “IB DP Language A Language and Literature -sample text analysis – Obama cartoon”

  1. Could you also say irony? given the fact that some people believe Obama to be a war criminal yet, he is being portrayed as a superhero?

    1. The war criminal aspect is not a part of this particular text so it wouldn’t be a valid line of analysis, particularly for Paper 1. There are elements of irony in this editorial cartoon but they are not related to the “war criminal” view held by some.

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