LK Abitur 2010 Aufgabe I Composition Topic 4: Describe the following cartoon and comment on it.
Dank an Max Müller für verschiedene Korrekturen und Verbesserungsvorschläge.
Trotz der expliziten Anweisung „Describe“ möchte ich natürlich, wie immer KEINE reine Beschreibung haben. Wenn ein Schüler die Anweisung befolgt, hat er aber natürlich auch keinen Nachteil.
The dystopian scenario of the cartoon is characterized by ubiquitous CCTV surveillance that reminds one of George Orwell’s “Big Brother Is Watching You”. The grim-faced policeman in the background is looking for evildoers through a pair of binoculars, while sitting on top of an enormous tank fitted with antennae, all symbols of total control by the state. Like in Huxley’s “Brave New World”, people are divided into “castes”, which seem to have different rights (cf. the caste-specific curfew hours). The unhappy expression on the left man’s face conveys the monotonous existence within an ubiquitous surveillance state, an impression that is reinforced by the rather sterile choice of colors and shapes. Everyone wears the same uniform clothes, with no difference in shape or color. The statement of the man on the right strikes one as rather ridiculous, as there is obviously not the slightest chance for anarchy to develop under such an oppressive regime. You can also tell by the man’s facial expression that he feels intimidated by the surveillance camera trained on him. Not daring to utter any criticism of the system, he parrots the government propaganda line about fighting anarchy instead. The brutal machinery of total surveillance shows that even harmless citizens are treated as potential subversives, which intensifies the menacing atmosphere of a merciless totalitarian state bent on total control.
In my opinion the cartoon’s message is to warn against an all-powerful state. Intrusion into people’s privacy has become ubiquitous in recent years, e.g. in Britain almost every public place is monitored by cameras. In the US the notorious “Homeland Security Act” has also made snooping on citizens much easier. The cartoonist probably wants to point out that we should resist any new laws that might lead towards such an Orwellian surveillance state.