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Persusasion of Propaganda

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Persuasion of Propaganda

Tabetha Lewis

Mountain State University

May 15, 2011

Persuasion of Propaganda

The propaganda posters used by our government during World War II were to motivate the people to help support the war by taking part in war related efforts. The use of these posters pulled on the people's emotions of guilt, fear, and anger. The main focus of the government was to make the people believe they could not win the war without the help they could provide.

A campaign started in 1942 introducing women working in support of the war. In figure 1 a woman is dressed in overalls showing off her biceps (Miller, 1943). This poster reads "We Can Do It!" imposing the feeling of guilt in women that they weren't doing enough to support the war. During the 1940s women were homemakers not bread winners. The campaign portrayed the message to woman that they needed to get jobs outside of home in support of their enlisted husband or family member. They wanted them to do a man's job for the efforts of war by riveting planes.

Some of the campaign posters during WWII lead the public to believe the enemy was evil, couldn't be trusted and was capable of anything (see figure 2). This made the people feel unsafe because they would never beware of a lingering enemy watching their every move waiting for the opportunity to take them out. A lot of these campaigns advertised the need for people to buy war bonds. "Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them, Buy War Bonds!" ( This particular poster draws on fear. The poster itself reveals children playing with military toys in the yard with a swastika shadowing in on them from behind (Smith, 1942). The hidden message of this poster is to make people believe if they didn't buy a war bond they and their kids would always be unsafe from the enemy. They needed the American people to fear the enemy so they would purchase the war bond believing it would protect them, but really the government needed the money from the public to fund the war. With the use of charged language in this propaganda poster they influenced the feeling of fear of the enemy upon the people by being dishonest because the people believed they would be safe from the evils of the enemy if they just purchased a war bond (Birk & Birk, 2011, p.381).

Other poster like the one in figure 3 played on multiple emotions of the Americans. It brought the possibility that the consequence of their loved one sacrificing hi life could be death. The poster shows a deceased soldier slumped over a fence and the poster reads "You Talk of Sacrifice, He Knew the Meaning of Sacrifice!" ( The poster imposes upon a threat that if the American people don't conserve or buy war bonds like the government is requesting, it could be their loved ones life lost at war. And this poster also reminds the American that the sacrifices of their soldiers are greater than that of the people. This poster could make the civilians angry because they have to sacrifice



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