ABOUT THE IRONY, THE SARCASM AND THE
CYNICISM IN THE CARICATURE
The caricature as as specific place of art, with its free, meager (if looked at from
visually and aesthetic side) and witty drawing, has a basic function: to make its consu-
mers laugh by critisizing, ridiculing and eveng stigmatizing some human or social, moral
and virtues short comings some negative phenomena. This function of the caricature is
accomplished by its immaculately made stylized draving; carefully chosen and treated
theme; with its clear, unambiguos and optimally dozed message; its clea shape of
engaged piece of art that persuades the consument to thinking and particularly to
Of course, in the process of production of the caricature, the appliance of some usual
methods and exppresional means of art are necessary, such as: spraining of the values
(deforming of reality); exaggerating (to some exten) – in the first place in its artistic and
then its conceptional and logical sense etc. These methods accomplish the necessary le-
vel of witticism, the humorous in the critisizing process the point that is critisized. This
could be considered as a positive thesis for production of the caricature.
But the authors during their creation, apply some other methods and artistic means of
expression. Therefore, we can look at the appliance of irony, sarcasm and cynicism,
which, (again in terms of speaking) could be considered as a negative thesis or
antithesis in the creation of the caricature.
Whu do we mention a positive and negative thesis (or thesis and antithesis) in the
creation of a caricature?
Lets us consider the meaning of irony, sarcasm and cynicism.
IRONY is obcure ridicule by using words that mean the opposite of what one
SARCASM is using words that normally mean one thing to mean just the
opposite, usually to hurt someone`s feelings or show scorn, a kind of extremely
CINICISM expresses comtempt for human nature; impudence, obscenity, cruelty,
rejection of all human values, customs etc.
As we can notice, these three categories of human behaviour are not at all
positive, but in a sense, they are destructive categories in human relationships.
By their appliance in the creation of the caricatures – additionally complicated by
using extremely akward themes and areas for caricatural observation such as: war,
famine, poverty, disease, death, human vices etc., the disproportion between the
vittiness and witlessness becomes bigger and bigger. This kind of a caricature with its
overstressed irony, sarcasm or cynicism, constructed upon above mentioned „risky“
themes, accompanied or illustrated by anticaricatural elements, that isd to say, bay
artistic elements that don‘t correspond to the caricature as witty spiritual product (for
eg. abundance of blood, torn parts of human or animal bodies, destroyed and set on fire
human dwellings etc.), depart from basic spiritual values of the caricature, although
according to some ecternal marks, these products only look like a caricature even if
they provoke laughter. Such caricatures are not really caricatures because of the
bitterness they provoke in spirituale satisfaction of a human being. They are sad
caricatures– if such thing ever exists (it surely doesn’t exist, as it is sure that there is no
laughter is provoked by sad feelings, as it is sure that no white negro exists etc.).
Hower, it is a fact that there are a lot of such „caricatures“; Paying too much atten-
tion to ideological message directed against social or human anormalities, some
caricaturists set aside the human necessity for healthy and jouful laughter and they use
extremely unpleasant artistic elements considering that if they are situated in some funy
environment, they would provoke people’s healthy laughter, no matter if for example,
some of the characters have a head or other part of their bodies torn off, or some of the
characters are dead, or their house burnt down etc, as if the people themselves don’t
matter (although people are used in the caricature).
I point out this fact mostly because the laughter is slowly disappearing and people
find less and less reasons for laughter. The natural and other disasters provoked by
people, as wall as the difficult living conditions are not suitable for a joyful. Life of a
real man – the humanist.
There fore, the caricaturist should be particularly careful in choosing the artistic so-
lutions and elements when dealing with one of these more subtle themes and areas of
The application, or better to say, combination of irony, sarcasm or cynicism with
some of the above mentioned „risky“ themes (war, famine, alcohol etc.) if followed bay
additional tasteless artistic elements (abundance of blood, etc) leads to an opposite
effect of the one expected by the caricature – a sense of tastelessness and repulsiveness
for the caricature itself. Therefore, the appliance of these destructive human behaviours
as methodological process, sometimes even overstated in its artistic and ideological
sense, while dealing with the themes we have spoken of, represents antithesis of positive
thesis of fundamental postulates for creation of a caricature, in other words antithesis of
the fundamental characteristics of the caricature itself, i.e. of the positive educationaln
provocation of a healthy consumer’s laughter.
In searching for the most suitable methods for their expression, the caricaturists
will go on widely using irony, sarcasm and cynicism but they should not use them
dealing with some of the themes and areas of people’s lives i have mentioned above.
They should, however, envi stupidity, obstinacy, greediness etc.