Both of the following two texts, a cartoon strip and an extract from a memoir, share similarities and differences regarding the theme and context, audience, purpose as well as certain formal and stylistic features.
The first extract is a cartoon strip written in 1986 by Cathy Guisewite. The cartoon features four panels with three female characters with narrations and speech bubbles to emphasize dialogue and the message regarding women’s rights and sex stereotyping. The context of the cartoon is to show the inequalities between genders.
This is evident, when the women begin to associate boys with certain stereotypes such as “strong” and “tough”. Therefore indicating that women and girls today are portrayed to be the opposite. The first example of sex stereotyping is seen in the first panel of the cartoon when the first women asks the mother “is it a boy or a girl?” with the mother responding, “This is our baby’s chance to get to meet people totally free from sex stereotyping.
” Therefore indicating that the mother is against sex stereotyping.
Another example of sex stereotyping is featured in the second panel when the woman begins to associate boys by certain stereotypes such as phrases “look at that strong fist” and “mischievous sparkle”. The use of these phrases further emphasizes the fact that even today boys and girls are associated with certain words in order to define them as human beings in our society today. This stereotyping is continued even into the third panel of the cartoon when the woman yet again begins to use stereotypes by using the phrase “what a kicker! You have a tough strong.” The strong use of the emanata in order to emphasize the strong emotions shown by the mother is used in the last speech bubble of the third panel when she angrily replies, “Girl, she’s a girl! A tough strong girl.”
This outburst is quite important in the cartoon as it shows that the mother has had enough with gender stereotyping. This is shown by the strong use of emanata and by simply looking at the drawing of her angry and annoyed facial expressions. The use of the words “tough, strong girl” indicated that boys are not better than girls and that we are all created equal. This phrase is significant as it shows the mother speaking out for what she believes in, and standing up to women’s rights and gender stereotyping. The final panel is quite ironic due to the fact that as the reader, we would tend to think that after the mother’s outburst there would be no more use of stereotyping. However, it continues again with the women using the word “ precious” to stereotype the little baby girl. The annoyance of the mother is emphasized by her facial expression at the end.
This cartoon would be aimed towards a younger or middle-aged generation since it is being represented in a picture cartoon form and would probably be published in newspapers or magazines. The purpose of the cartoon is to influence the issues such as gender inequality in today’s society. The cartoon uses cartoon narrative throughout in order to question societal norms. Throughout each panel captions are used with different font sizes. The font being expressed in all capital letter along with the punctuation in order to emphasize the tone. The writing style consists of short dialogue and the cartoon seems to be used in a more generic perspective in order to create the effect of the cartoon being for entertainment as well as intellectual purposes towards the reader.
The second text is an extract from a memoir by Shusha Guppy, “The Blindfolded Horse, Memories of a Persian Childhood”, written in 1988. The beginning of the memoir starts by the introduction the Shusha Guppy’s birth using the first person perspective. This is evident by the use of certain words such as “my mothers” and “my sister.” From the beginning of the extract the reader can instantly notice what the role of women in Persia used to be. This is evident by the use of the phrase “Sufficient unto women is the art of producing and raising sons as brave lions.” Therefore showing that a women’s main role in society was to produce children and to raise them. This therefore emphasizes what the roles of wome in Persia used to be. The theme of gender discrimination is also used in certain parts of the extract.
This is apparent when Guppy is describing herself being born and uses the thought of her father having “preferred a boy, as men always did in those days” in order to reinforce the theme. The hardships faced in Persia before the changes towards gender equality and women’s rights took place is evident when Guppy expresses the opinion of her father by using the quote, “Not because boys are better, but because women suffer more.” Therefore indicating that before the changes took place in Persia there was once a distinct difference in terms of rights and equality between men and women. The use of the word “more” could also indicate the cultural, social or religious positions regarding the women in Persia.
The extracts focuses on the new and changing Persia and the fact that women were now created more equally to men. This is evident by the abolishment of the veil, let women becoming emancipated, and their opportunity’s to be able to go to school and university as well as them being able to take up new professions. However, the text also focuses on the fact that many people in Persia had “found it hard to accept these improvements and to adjust their attitudes.” The use of the word “attitudes” is perhaps used to show that there is mixed opinions regarding women’s rights. Therefore showing that there is a slow pace of social change despite political change. The memoir mainly focuses on the message and theme of the changes regarding gender inequality in Persia told through the eyes of a young Shusha Guppy who was very much involved in politics.
This is evident by the use of the phrase “ I caused my parents endless trouble with my radical adolescent politics” as well as the phrase “at this time of birth. It was perhaps written on my brow.” Therefore emphasizing Shusha Guppy’s strong willed character and passion for politics and human rights. The memoir seems to be aimed perhaps as well at a younger generation and could be published in books or magazines in order to re-enforce the changes regarding gender equality in Persia. Towards the end of the passage, the use of the phrase “her life is elsewhere” said by the fortune teller, is very effective as it shows that Shusha Guppy’s life will be different and that perhaps she wont have to face the problems caused by gender inequality in her country.
Both texts are similar in terms that both the texts are written by women and share the same message in regards to its female point of view. Both discuss gender labeling, women’s rights and sex stereotyping as well as its implications. And suggests the societal norms for genders and rights from birth. Both the excerpts also share a similarity in regards to female points of view, despite differences in voice, being the omniscient versus first person. The purpose of the authors in the two texts seem to be the same as they both hind that society in changing, however the social norms take longer to change. Both excerpts are also from the same time period.
The cartoon strip written in 1986 and the memoir in 1988, therefore indicating that the two texts could share the same opinion since there is not a long difference in time since being written. Both texts seem to share the theme of “destiny” and the message that just because one is born a certain gender she or he has to follow a certain path, this evident in some words such as “travel” which suggests the skepticism in the mother’s voice, despite being a women. This shows that she believes in the destiny of women.
Both texts also have some differences between them. The cartoon for instance is written in a cartoon narrative whereas the memoir is written in first person narrative, however both seem to question the societal norms. In terms of stylistic and formal features the cartoon is entirely different as it makes use of different font sizes and punctuation in order to emphasize the tone. This is evident when looking at the speech bubbles, and captions as well as the emanate, which is being used in order to indicate certain signs of emotion. The settings of the two texts also seem to be different. The cartoon perhaps set in a more western world, whereas the memoir is given a specific location and is set in the Middle East.
This is done perhaps in order to illustrate the similarity across culture. Writing style is also one of the major differences between the two texts. The cartoon consists of short dialogue throughout, versus the memoir which features more of a reflection/retrospect with embedded dialogue throughout. Both texts also have different effects on the reader. While looking at the cartoon it was mostly probably created for entertainment purposes due to the pictures, whereas the memoir is more personal and informative as it gives an insight into the life of an actual person. Perspective is also one of the traits that seems to be different, with the cartoon having a more generic perspective whereas the memoir is more personal.
Therefore, in conclusion, both the presented texts share some similarities and differences in terms of the context, audience, purpose as well as the stylistic and formal features. Both effectively share the same opinion regarding women’s rights and positions in society as well as the view of gender labeling and it’s implications. However despite their similarities, there are differences present such as the differences in their stylistic and formal features. However, regardless of their differences both the cartoon and the extract of the memoir effectively convey the theme of how gender inequality is an important issue which is still lacking in our world today