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

Text: “President Obama prepares to say goodbye.” https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/18/cartoons-president-obama-prepares-to-say-goodbye/

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:

  • The date of publication and how this is related to the Obama / Trump handover
  • How the relay-race cartoon acts as a metaphor for the presidential transition
  • How the blue / red color represent the colors of the democrats and republicans
  • The use of labels and exaggeration (e.g. facial features)
  • The grey coloring of Obama’s hair – a minor detail that nevertheless ages him fairly dramatically
  • Obama is preparing to hand off the baton to Trump who is facing the opposite direction. The cartoon does not explicitly criticize Trump but the facial expressions don’t paint Trump in a positive light.
  • How the diagonal orientation of the lines on the track emphasizes movement

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