Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'd Probably Fall For It

In the wake of World War II, the United States began to sell war bonds to cover the costs of the war. This particular poster is a piece of propaganda that was used to sell these war bonds.

In this poster we see a strong appeal to the base emotion of fear that the public held during this time. Scary, claw like hands are portrayed threatening to close in on an innocent mother and her child. By using a woman and a young child, the piece of propaganda is intending to portray America as innocent and helpless without the help of everyone in the public. This gives the viewer the idea that they have the power to fight off these creeping hands by buying war bonds. At the same time, it shows that without the help of the public, evil Nazi Germany and its ally Japan could easily take over the country.

On one of the hands, a swastika is featured, and on the other is the rising sun flag. The swastika, as you likely know, was a symbol for Nazi Germany. The rising sun flag was the symbol used by the military forces of Imperial Japan, an ally of Nazi Germany during World War II. Using these symbols sends a message to the American people that if they do not buy war bonds, Nazi Germany and their ally Japan will come after them.

I’d like to think that I wouldn’t be swayed by such ridiculous propaganda. Looking at the piece now, I know that the poster is appealing to fear and at the time the country was desperate for money to fund the war. However, if I were to put myself in this time period, and imagine how I might react if I saw this poster, I think I would do exactly what the poster asked. Because I know that I am naturally a trusting person and am a bit fearful of the unknown, I believe I would go out and buy war bonds. This poster does a good job of portraying the scary side of the war, and showing exactly whom the public should be fearful of. The dark, shadowy colors would evoke a feeling of depression, which I might imagine would be the feeling I might experience if I don't buy war bonds. As cheesy and ridiculous as this piece of propaganda is, I’d likely be the perfect target and fall right where they want me.

You can view some other awesome examples of propaganda and persuasion HERE!

Jordan, Caitlin. "50 Powerful Examples Of Visual Propaganda And The Meanings Behind Them." Design         School. Canva, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

"Rising Sun Flag." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

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