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1. What point is the cartoonist making about the coronavirus in China?

2. A cartoonist often uses humor to illustrate a news item. Which comic device does cartoonist Michael Ramirez use to make his point? Explain your answer.
a) caricature
b) personification
c) pun
d) exaggeration
e) oxymoron
f) onomatopoeia

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez


1. Despite what Chinese officials are saying, the coronavirus outbreak is worse than they portray;  China’s communist leaders are lying about the seriousness of the spread of the coronavirus in China;  President for Life Xi JinPing’s claim that Chinese officials have everything under control is not true

2. d) exaggeration: The cartoonist is exaggerating President Xi’s appearance (also, the communist president would not conduct a press conference).  President Xi has not made any public statement about the coronavirus and how it is being handled.

The cartoonist did not use:

a) caricature: A description or characterization that exaggerates or distorts a character’s prominent features, usually for purposes of mockery. For example, a cartoon of a gaunt Abraham Lincoln with a giant top hat, a very scraggly beard, and sunken eyes could be considered a caricature.

b) personification: human characteristics are attributed to an abstract quality, animal, or inanimate object

c) pun: a “play on words” – a type of humor using a word or phrase that has two meanings

e) oxymoron: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as the phrase “jumbo shrimp” or “virtual reality”)

f) onomatopoeia: the creation of words that imitate natural sounds (buzz and hiss are examples of onomatopoeia)