The old man and the sea as political cartoon

Hemingway’s fisherman story has also been the subject of political cartoonists, including Edmund S. Valtman (b. 1914; d. 2005), a cartoonist for The Hartford Times from 1951 to 1975 who had won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. This political cartoon by Ed Valtman, for example, shows Senator George McGovern as a fisherman in a small boat with the remains of a large fish, with the words “War Issue,” lashed to its side, battling against high seas. His cartoon (pictured below) alludes to Hemingway’s story of an old Cuban fisherman who catches a giant marlin. Despite the fisherman’s efforts, most of the marlin is eaten by sharks before the fisherman is able return to port with little more than the skeleton of his prize. The cartoon is dated October 31, 1972, just a few days before the 1972 presidential elections. During the 1972 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon’s opponent, George McGovern, tried to make Nixon’s involvement in the Vietnam War a central issue. McGovern’s campaign, however, was undermined by a series of tribulations that included attacks on his inconsistent stands on many issues and the revelation that his vice presidential running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had been hospitalized on two occasions for psychiatric reasons. McGovern subsequently lost by a large margin to Nixon. More details here, via the Library of Congress.

The old man and the sea

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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