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1. Define the idiom “make light of

2. Editorial cartoonists often use humor to make light of serious situations. One of the types of humor an editorial cartoonist uses is irony. Irony is defined as when the opposite of what you expect to happen occurs. Describe the irony in Gary Varvel’s cartoon.

3. Gary Varvel uses anthropomorphism in this cartoon. Explain the difference between anthropomorphism and personification.

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Cartoon by Gary Varvel


1. To make light of — to act as if something is not serious or important (from thefreedictionary)

2. Irony:  The people in the zoo should be outside the glass looking in at the animals, waving and taking pictures; instead the animals are free to go whereever they want and the people must stay inside

3. Anthropomorphism is a type of personification that gives human characteristics to non-humans or objects especially animals. There is a slight difference between these two. Personification is an act of giving human characteristics to animals or objects to create imagery, while anthropomorphism aims to make an animal or object behave and appear like they are human beings. (