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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EMMA GOLDMAN
A Curriculum for Middle and High School Students

Political Cartoons

[ Questions on the Political Cartoons | Freedom of Expression | Next Exhibit ]


CONTEXT: Many Americans drew their images of radicals from cartoons, like these three, published in newspapers. Sometimes increasing sales with sensationalized news seemed more important to newspapers of the period than the truth and accuracy of their journalism. The press frequently seized the opportunity to sensationalize not only Goldman's anarchist perspective, but also the particular spectacle of a woman assuming a prominent role in the public arena.



Kansas State
Historical Collection

NOW HE WILL HAVE TO ACT
He stood by and placidly watched
his country become infected
with the germs of the earth.

From the Yiddish Press
c. 1901

Questions on the Political Cartoons:
  1. Read each cartoon and explain its message.

  2. What image of the anarchist emerges? What words are used to describe anarchists?

  3. How might these images have influenced public opinion?

  4. What does the cartoon suggest Uncle Sam will need to do?

  5. Who do you think might have agreed with the cartoon? Who would have disagreed? Why?

  6. "Lock on mouth" cartoon: What is happening in the cartoon? What is the policeman preventing Goldman from doing?

General Questions on This Exhibit:
  1. Can a political cartoon be unbiased? Explain.

  2. Name some political cartoonists who are popular today. Why do you think their cartoons are popular?

  3. Besides cartoons, what other forms of political commentary rely on humor to make their point?

  4. Do you think that there are topics that should not be the subject of humor or satire? Why or why not?


Document maintained at: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/Curricula/FreeExpression/cartoons.html by the SunSITE Manager.