Construction of Reality in Pakistani English Newspapers: A Semiotic Analysis Study
Keywords:Newspaper Cartoons, Social Satire, Barthes Model, Rhetorical Device
Representation of social issues of the society through cartoons is of great importance in Pakistan. The newspapers’ cartoonists represent social issues according to their own objectives. They construct satire on these social issues by using images and captions. It is significant to investigate how the newspapers’ cartoonists frame reader’s opinion about social issues of the society through linguistic choices. The current study was conducted to examine social satire in cartoons in Pakistani English newspapers. The objectives of the current research were to identify the recurring social themes in cartoons, to investigate the semiotic devices used in cartoons and to find out the logical connection developed between linguistic and semiotic devices in cartoons for the reflection of social issues in Pakistani English newspapers. The present research was qualitative in nature. The data were collected from the cartoons published in Pakistani English newspapers i.e. Daily Times (Pakistan), Dawn and The Nation. Barthes’ (1974) model of semiological analysis was used for interpretation of social satire in cartoons in Pakistani English newspapers. After analysis, it was found that the newspaper’s cartoonists used specific linguistic devices like exaggeration, symbolism, labeling, caption, irony and analogy for construction of social satire in cartoons. They also exposed the social issues like corruption, inflation, explanation, terrorism, poor democracy, wrong policies of the government, thana culture, energy crises, meat adulteration and child brutality. There were also logical connections between linguistic and semiotic devices in cartoons to enhance the reader’s understanding of social satire.
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