Caricature

By Billy Petersen

Caricature: An exaggeration of a person’s physical features, dress and/or personality. Caricatures are widely used in political comics of a person to create an effect. In literature this is commonly used in conjunction with comedy and satire. The exaggeration is either used in a comedic sense, or as a method of ridicule. Also the exaggeration tends to be on one or two features for one particular subject, which sometimes leads to oversimplification.

Example: Douglas Coupland in Jpod uses caricatures to create the personality of his characters. For example, John Doe, who strives to be statistically, average in society due to being isolated in the lesbian community when he grew up. This is a caricature, because John lives his life according to this one rule, and it defines him wholly.  This is one example Coupland does not develop his characters from their one-dimensional introduction. Indeed Coupland focuses on a single aspect of their character and continually presents it with only a few exceptions.  In the story none of the characters grow out of his original depiction of them. They all remain static; just simple caricatures.  Since they are all caricatures, they serve to satirize Vancouver and western culture, not directly, but as a result of their actions. For example, the mini-games that Coupland decides to include show the characters, not working, which can be compared to the employees of many office jobs today.

Works Cited

Coupland, Douglas. JPod. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2007. Print.

Cummings, Michael J. “Literary Terms.” Cummings Study Guide. Michael J Cummings. Web. 21 Mar. 2011. <http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/xLitTerms.html&gt;

 

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