Part 1: Origins RT: Part 1

Research Task: Before & After

Select one of the three historical examples of the simple two-picture story structure, where the first picture sets up the action whilst the second picture records the aftermath. Consider questions such as:

What happened between the first and second pictures?

Was it an event that took place over time, or are the two pictures ‘symbolic’ of something bigger?

What is the mood or atmosphere of the story? Is it meant to be serious, funny, scary, political or something else?

I chose to analyse the Before and after the election image.

The left side of the picture (before) shows a prospective political candidate begging an unimpressed-looking worker for his vote, whilst the right side (after) reverses the roles as the MP has been voted in and therefore is no longer interested in the average worker, who is begging him to look at a petition. The MP has his back to the man and is smoking a cigar.

I felt the picture was symbolic of how individuals often need the initial support of others to reach a position of power and, once there, disregard those that enabled it. It also reminded me of how, even today, when there are impending elections the public is bombarded with campaigning in all forms (TV, media, leaflets, endless photo opportunities), but once over, there is very little dialogue between the general public and those in power.

I thought the picture was powerful in in its simplicity and clearly communicates its meaning visually, as even without the words it would be quite obvious what is taking place. I felt it was a combination of being political and satirical – it certainly makes its point.


Look and Learn Historic Picture Library, (n.d.). Before and after the election. (online) Available at: [Accessed 8 June 2021].

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