PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

AFRREV LALIGENS: An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies

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A semiotic study of political cartoon strips in The Nation National Daily

Martina Mnena Tyumbu

Abstract


Communication is a very important means of exchanging ideas and the ability to communicate effectively is necessary to carry out the thoughts and visions of every individual, group or nation. Consequentially, communicators especially cartoonists have made vigorous efforts to portray the society by familiarizing people with on-going events in the societies through cartoons. This paper explores the sign of cartoon strips and examines how they are used in communicating message(s). Using a semiotic frame work, it presents a method of interpreting and gaining meaning into cartoons. The purpose of this paper is to help people who have great interest in cartoons to better understand cartoons and also answer questions raised in the paper which include; Are cartoons a true representation of current political parties, personalities and situations?, Do cartoon strips like other signs have both
denotative and connotative meanings?, Do cartoon have the potentials for more than one interpretation/meaning?, can cartoons be understood better using the semiotic frame work?, The paper also presents the semiotic codes used in cartooning. Finally, the paper advances the analysis of verbal and non-verbal codes like cartoons as important medium of communication.




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