Cupping Student Debt By Joe Heller

744 Words 3 Pages
Cupping Student Debt

In this cartoon, Joe Heller illustrates the feelings that every student has in relation to students loans. Heller’s purpose in this cartoon is to draw attention to the enormity and un-manageable amount of debt they acquire over the course of their college career. He uses a combination of wording, design and symbolism in order to effectively empathize with the struggle that every college student experiences, drawing the conclusion that college is too expensive, forcing students to go into debt. First, the wording of the dialogue help to support Heller’s point. The wording that first comes to the observer’s attention is the text inside the speech bubble. The student on the right is responding to the comment of his roommate. He is expressing his frustration through sarcasm, giving us the idea that he’d rather have the cupping marks as a result of being an athlete rather than being covered in the marks of student debt. Next, the observer will notice that the roommate’s comment
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First is the irony of the cupping marks. The cupping marks of an athlete relieve pain and assist with healing whereas the cupping from the octopus is causing the student financial pain and stress. That fact correlates to his lack of health, being overweight and sleep deprivation which are causing the opposite effect. The second symbol is the giant octopus of student debt. It is an ever-present nuisance that follows him around wherever he goes. The observer will see this in the way that the octopus has covered the student with purple cupping marks and in how its tennacles are entrapping him. The symbolism of this is that his debt is so large, that it is following him around and sucking the finances, health and long-term success out of him. The combination of these two symbolisms give us the idea that student debt is enormous and detrimental to the student’s financial, emotional and physical

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