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A cartoonist often uses humor to illustrate issues that aggravate people. What device does the cartoonist use to highlight this trend of starting every season (from Halloween to presidential elections) earlier and earlier?

a) caricature
b) sarcasm
c) symbol
d) understatement
e) hyperbole

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

Cartoon by Joseph Heller


c) symbol: An object, character, figure, place, or color used to represent an abstract idea or concept.
Santa represents the Christmas shopping season; The turkey wearing a Pilgrim hat represents Thanksgiving and Uncle Sam represensts in this case U.S. politics/presidential candidates


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) sarcasm: A form of verbal (or visual) irony in which it is obvious from context and tone that the speaker means the opposite of what he or she says.

d) understatement: A figure of speech in which statements are purposely understated. It may be used to indicate the speaker’s nonchalance (or obliviousness) regarding an often important or otherwise remarkable situation. It often results in irony where, for instance, the speaker’s response to an event does not match how the viewer expects the speaker to react.

e) hyperbole: An extreme magnification or exaggeration of actuality. It blows something completely out of proportion for a distorted effect. The purpose of hyperbole is to create a larger-than-life effect and overly stress a specific point. (Used as a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in “I could sleep for a year” or “This book weighs a ton”)