Jochen Lüders

Englisch & Sport am Gymnasium / Tango & Tanzfeste

Invading New Markets

LK Abitur 2008 II,  Composition Topic 4 (Von Neal Conway, LK)

Comment on the cartoon.

In my opinion, the cartoon is supposed to illustrate the ruthlessness and overly offensive tactics with which US corporate giants take control of foreign markets in the era of globalisation.

By showing an army conquering a tropical island (as well as its population) while flying the flags of global firms such as McDonalds and Microsoft, the cartoonist makes the viewer think of colonisation and imperialism. He thus juxtaposes economic dealings with colonial warfare. This impression is reinforced by the diversity of brands (such as Nike on the upper right ship and Motorola on the upper left plane) as well as the soldiers’ hurry to seize the land by hoisting their flag, in this case equipped with the Microsoft logo, which might represent a worldwide monopoly. As colonisation is today largely seen as unjust and illegitimate, US economic policy is criticized as a lethal invasion, where people even die (cf. the dead man beneath the “Iwojima” group).

All soldiers are actually comic-book characters by Walt Disney, which is yet another US enterprise which has a long-standing monopoly on the junior entertainment market. Not only do they all represent the same film studios, but the majority of soldiers are even identical replica­tions of the Goofy” character. These soldiers, together with the inappropriate grin of Mickey Mouse in the foreground, can be seen as representing the people already “brainwashed” by the media, particularly the big companies’ advertisement. They are displayed in stark contrast to the native population, who, thus far unaffected by foreign firms and the culture they represent, are depicted with human and individual features. (262 words)

But the cartoon can also be associated with the war in Iraq, as Texaco and Shell are among the invading corporations. The USA has often been accused of abusing its position as the world’s domi­nant power to take control of that country’s oil reserves. So the fact that the cartoonist has placed the two brands in the foreground, thus making it look as if they are leading the way, is in all likelihood not a coincidence. By creating this allusion, the cartoon indirectly accuses American companies such as Halliburton of irresponsibly promoting a devastating war, just for the sake of higher profits. (362 words)

Vorheriger Beitrag

Duty or Pleasure?

Nächster Beitrag

Australia Scrapbook

  1. max

    Ergänzungsvorschlag (Ergebnis einer Diskussion in ENPAED):

    Scrooge McDuck, an officer commanding the troops marching off one of the landing crafts, represents Wall Street capital, which fuels America’s campaign to conquer the world with its brands.

  2. > inhaltlich und strukturell würde ich ihn eher in den Bereich der Analyse/Interpretation rücken.

    Genau das habe ich meinen Schülern auch beigebracht. Bei mir heißt es immer „INTERPRET the cartoon“ (vgl. http://www.jochenenglish.de/?p=97). Dementsprechend sollen sie das vage „Comment on“ als „Interpret“ interpretieren 😉

  3. Tom

    Dies ist ein sehr beeindruckender Text. Sowohl das Hintergrundwissen als auch die daraus resultierende Bandbreite der Assoziationen sind beachtlich. Allerdings bin ich mir nicht sicher, dass der Text als „Kommentar“ gelten kann, inhaltlich und strukturell würde ich ihn eher in den Bereich der Analyse/Interpretation rücken.

    Gruß,
    Tom

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