Custom «Cartoons» Essay Paper Sample


I felt pity, anger and shame. I was pity for the oppressed African-American, angry at the perpetrators of oppression and ashamed to see the heartlessness of man so explicitly depicted.

This cartoon was drawn in 1868 (Nast, 1868).

The subject of the cartoon is racial oppression of African-Americans in America by the Democratic Party (Rosof, 1983). During this period, the democrats who were predominantly white were oppressing the African-Americans denying them even their right to vote.

People Objects Events/Actions Symbolism


-Nathan B. Forrest

-August Belmont

-Black veteran

-Lynched man



-American flag

-Ballot box


-Beer bottle


-Burning of the Colored Orphanage

-Burning of freed slaves’ schools.

-Whip symbolizes slavery.

-The American flag trampled upon represents an attack of the American principles.

-The ballot box represents the black man’s right to vote or his aspiration to that right.

-The beer bottle, hat, and inscription on the hat of the gentleman to the left portray an Irishman.

-The bundle of cash in the left hand of the gentleman to the right depicts the Democrats’ corruption.

The cartoonist’s purpose in creating the work is to criticize the oppression of African-Americans at the time. He also sensitizes the Americans on the need for coexistence and the need to respect the right and freedom of all.

The intended audience was the American people. In 1968, the year of elections, Nast being a supporter of the Republicans, wanted to point out corruption and oppression of the Democrats (Nast, 1868; Rosof, 1983).

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The tone of the cartoon is light in the fore-ground and dark in the background.

Firstly, there is the presence of massive corruption as depicted by the wad of cash in the Democrat Party’s chairman’s left hand. Secondly, racial intolerance and oppression is evident as shown by the three men stepping down upon the black man. Further, the cartoon shows the white racists denying the black man the right to vote even after assisting the Union defeat the Confederacy. Thus, the American Civil War ends.

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