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Making Style of Sotomayor Cartoons: Style as Rhetoric of Caricatures

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Abstract:

In August of 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the nation’s first Latina Supreme Court justice. The extraordinary experience and education of Sonia Sotomayor, as well as her unique American narrative, created a welcoming admittance to the Supreme Court from some, as well as hostility from others. Sotomayor’s racial and gender traits had never been experienced or seen before in the Supreme Court. In addition, her discourse (specifically her “Wise Latina” description) is one that American has never considered before. However, the Supreme Court is not the only political arena that Sotomayor entered. One area in which Sotomayor’s persona emerged was the world of caricatures and political cartoons. This paper argues that the rhetoric of these Sotomayor political cartoons is integrated and consistent regardless of the variety of themes. Style is a physical and linguistic disguise for underlying, symbolic tensions within our culture and politics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible link of style of political cartoons on Sotomayor and the underlying messages and themes that went beyond her. To achieve this purpose I discovered what seemed to be representative political cartoons which alluded to the major dramatic elements from the pentad. By examining over 30 cartoons, I found five major patterns: 1) Race, 2) Confirmation hearings and political tensions, 3) “Wise Latina,” 4) Lady Justice & Piñatas, and 5) Empathy and Gender. Moreover, these themes revealed that in order to resolve political tensions in a successful stylistic manner, one must take a dramatic approach in order to engage the American public discourse. Such ironic ways of political, racial, and cultural progress deserve our undivided attention as rhetorical scholars. These political cartoons serve as a speculative instrument not just to the politics of style, but the politics of minorities. Not only can we note who the contenders are, but we can be aware of where the drama originates. These Sotomayor cartoons get to the heart of the numerous tensions that are not only situational (during the confirmation hearings) but the everlasting oppositions that all minorities face, struggle, and attempt to overcome in American society.
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Association:
Name: NCA 96th Annual Convention
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http://www.natcom.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p421340_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ruiz De Castilla, Clariza. "Making Style of Sotomayor Cartoons: Style as Rhetoric of Caricatures" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 96th Annual Convention, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p421340_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ruiz De Castilla, C. "Making Style of Sotomayor Cartoons: Style as Rhetoric of Caricatures" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 96th Annual Convention, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p421340_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In August of 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the nation’s first Latina Supreme Court justice. The extraordinary experience and education of Sonia Sotomayor, as well as her unique American narrative, created a welcoming admittance to the Supreme Court from some, as well as hostility from others. Sotomayor’s racial and gender traits had never been experienced or seen before in the Supreme Court. In addition, her discourse (specifically her “Wise Latina” description) is one that American has never considered before. However, the Supreme Court is not the only political arena that Sotomayor entered. One area in which Sotomayor’s persona emerged was the world of caricatures and political cartoons. This paper argues that the rhetoric of these Sotomayor political cartoons is integrated and consistent regardless of the variety of themes. Style is a physical and linguistic disguise for underlying, symbolic tensions within our culture and politics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible link of style of political cartoons on Sotomayor and the underlying messages and themes that went beyond her. To achieve this purpose I discovered what seemed to be representative political cartoons which alluded to the major dramatic elements from the pentad. By examining over 30 cartoons, I found five major patterns: 1) Race, 2) Confirmation hearings and political tensions, 3) “Wise Latina,” 4) Lady Justice & Piñatas, and 5) Empathy and Gender. Moreover, these themes revealed that in order to resolve political tensions in a successful stylistic manner, one must take a dramatic approach in order to engage the American public discourse. Such ironic ways of political, racial, and cultural progress deserve our undivided attention as rhetorical scholars. These political cartoons serve as a speculative instrument not just to the politics of style, but the politics of minorities. Not only can we note who the contenders are, but we can be aware of where the drama originates. These Sotomayor cartoons get to the heart of the numerous tensions that are not only situational (during the confirmation hearings) but the everlasting oppositions that all minorities face, struggle, and attempt to overcome in American society.


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