“The Liquor Octopus” By: Morgan Cooper Illustrated by: Russell Henderson January 4th 1919 Published by The American Issue Describe the action taking place in the cartoon Description •The cartoon is portrayed as a man whose head is a globe. This shows that he represents all men. •The Liquor Octopus attacking the globe, has words on its tentacles which represent the effects of alcoholism: poverty, crime, debauchery, disease, and waste. •American Anti-Saloon Methods is a caption below. Explain how the words in the cartoon clarify the symbols. Symbols •The octopus’ body position refers to an octopus attacking its prey; octopus have suction cups on their tentacles which makes it nearly impossible to break away. This is a reference to alcohol addiction. •Each of the octopus’ tentacles represents the effects of alcoholism: I. Poverty- Many men at this time would spend their entire paycheck on alcohol rather than their families needs. II. Crime- Gangsters, Bootleggers, Racketeers, etc. III. Disease- Alcoholism, Liver Disease/Failure, alcohol poisoning, etc. IV. Debauchery- Excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. V. Waste • The world represents the cartoonist’s audience. Written Language The written language found in this cartoon supports the illustrator’s cause through logos, ethos, and pathos. • Logos is evident on the tentacles of the octopus. The cartoonist gives 5 reasons not to partake in alcohol consumption. • Ethos is supported through the caption “The American Anti-Saloon Methods”. This was a very active Prohibition club at this time. • Pathos is felt when you connect faces with the horrors that are influenced by alcohol such as crime, disease, poverty, etc. Explain the message of the cartoon and what special interest groups would agree/disagree with the cartoon’s message. Message The message of this cartoon is that alcohol only creates problems for the world. This cartoon supports the 18th amendment and also Prohibition. Opponents of the Cartoon’s Message Flappers, Gangsters, Bootleggers, Speakeasy regulars, Anti-prohibtionists Additional Information During this time period there was great up rise over this amendment. Over time it became known as fundamentalism vs. modernism. Consequences • After viewing this cartoon the viewer may choose to abide by the law and not partake in the consumption alcohol. • They may also choose to join the American Anti-Saloon Method’s Club. Comparable Current Document Past Present Comparison • The ban on alcohol in the early 20th century is what the ban on marijuana is today. • This document makes a very clear comparison of the two events. Work Cited Henderson, Russell. Westerville Public Library. The American Issue, 04 01 1919. Web. 28 Feb 2013. <http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/158/2012/10/05/119931_600.jpg>. Asay, Chuck. Gone Forever Cartoons. creators.com, 05 10 2012. Web. 28 Feb 2013. <http://www.cagle.com/tag/marijuana/page/3/>.