Blog 6 – Using Images as Argument

I am not sure I would consider this image an argument – if it is I’m not sure I can decipher the claim.  This cartoon appears to have been made by someone on the oppositional side of fracking, displaying how the shale gas drillers destroy tap (drinking) water yet show that it’s still ok because the glass is still half clean. From the cartoonist’s standpoint, maybe the claim could be that natural gas drillers are tricky people and while destroying your water, they don’t want you to think that that is what is actually happening. Another, simpler claim could be that natural gas drilling leads to contaminated tap water. Reasons supporting the claim could be just the “fact” that the water is “half clean” as opposed to half dirty, which wouldn’t make an effective political cartoon. Half clean is an effective use of sarcasm, which is a good draw for many readers and stakeholders in the fracking debate. Another reason would be the faucet labeled, “Marcellus Shale Drinking Water” and the shirt labeled “natural gas drillers” which show exactly what is going on. The reasons are more clear to me than the actual claim and part of the reason for this is that the reasons are actually written words in this cartoon – not simply implied. There is an intended audience – mostly those opposed to fracking, though anyone in-the-know about the debate could be an appropriate piece to the audience. The claims I came up with for what this piece is potentially saying is being used by (probably) both the author and others, making that portion an effective argument, however I’m not sure the claim is used to convince the audience. Yes, it shows what fracking can do to your tap water, but most people have heard that already and therefore I do not see it as a swaying argument.

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