John D Rockefeller Standard Oil Analysis

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Standard Oil was founded by John D. Rockefeller, later developing into what others have called an empire of oil. As the company grew it started gaining more control over the oil industry until eventually Rockefeller had almost zero competition; becoming one of the monopolies that were taking over America society. Slowly Standard Oil started controlling more aspects of American life, concerning anyone who understood the implications of this. Udo J. Keppler illustrated a political cartoon, which was published on September 7, 1904 on Puck magazine, pertaining to Standard Oil and the control it was gaining. The illustration can be seen as undoubted or controversial depending on the people you ask, but one thing that is sure is that it showed a…show more content…
The illustration is primarily visual with not much of a verbal argument. The only words in the illustration seem to be a type of aid to the audience in distinguishing what’s being represented and a small text underneath, “NEXT!”. The small text implying that soon John D. Rockefeller would have control over the White House. All the same, the message is still crystal clear visually with its art elements. In the illustration, you can see that the artist used heavier lines and dark tones for the octopus to give off an unpleasant look. Additionally, the other influential and important businesses are smaller in size than the octopus. The size difference could be the artist trying to show the power difference that is being played on by Standard Oil. You could also say the octopus is alluding to the Kraken which was, and still is, a popular legend about a sea monster. If so, it could have been a technique to lure in more of the younger audience. The way the octopus is reaching towards many important areas of our nation gives the message that Standard Oil is power hungry, which can cause them to lose the trust of the common people who could be the most affected by this. Udo J. Keppler was more than likely trying to reach out to the common folk of the nation rather than the rich. The

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