Morgan`s presentation - Lincoln County Schools

“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
•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
•American Anti-Saloon
Methods is a caption
Explain how the words in the cartoon
clarify the 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:
Poverty- Many men at this time
would spend their entire
paycheck on alcohol rather than
their families needs.
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
• Logos is evident on the
tentacles of the octopus. The
cartoonist gives 5 reasons not
to partake in alcohol
• 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.
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.
• 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
• The ban on alcohol
in the early 20th
century is what the
ban on marijuana is
• 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.
Asay, Chuck. Gone Forever Cartoons., 05 10 2012. Web. 28 Feb
2013. <>.

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