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Editorial cartoonists often use symbols to represent a person, group or idea.
1. What do the donkeys symbolize in this cartoon?
2.  What does the person in the cloak represent?
3. What is expected to happen when a person encounters the person in the cloak?

4. Which one best describes the main idea of Lisa Benson’s cartoon?
a) picking up hitchhikers could be deadly
b) Democrats are naive
c) Democrats’ embrace of extreme abortion policies will harm the party
d) if you pass the Grim Reaper hitchhiking, drive past him as quickly as possible to avoid death

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

Cartoon by Lisa Benson


1. The donkeys represent Democrats in Congress; more generally, the donkey represents the Democratic party (and the elephant represents the Republican party).

2. The person in the cloak hitchhiking represents death (the “Grim Reaper”).
The Grim Reaper is a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe. (from oxforddictionaries .com)

3. When encountering the Grim Reaper, it is expected the person will die; when Death comes looking for you, your number is up.

Death, due to its prominent place in human culture, is frequently imagined as a personified force, also known as the Grim Reaper. In some mythologies, the Grim Reaper causes the victim’s death by coming to collect that person. In turn, people in some stories try to hold on to life by avoiding Death’s visit… (from wikipedia)

4. c) Democrats’ embrace of extreme abortion policies will harm the party.