‘Master Jonathan’ in Cuba
A case study in colonial Bildungskarikatur
in Comic empires
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This chapter offers a case study of political cartoons treating US foreign policy towards Cuba that appeared in Punch between 1840 and 1859. Drawing clear linkages with the development of the novel – and the Bildungsroman form – the chapter observes in Punch’s commentary on American imperialism a complex series of developments. Using the character of ‘Master Jonathan’, British cartoonists personified the United States as a problematic youth whose upstart and mercenary national ambitions threatened both the welfare of the Cuban people and the national interest of his personified parent, Great Britain, in a variety of domains. The case study has much to tell us about both an important episode in nineteenth-century colonial history and the power of literary form, broadly construed, in shaping the political and ideological operations of culture.

Comic empires

Imperialism in cartoons, caricature, and satirical art

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