The Discouraging Truth: Propaganda in World War II

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We all look back at World War II and view it as one of the most depressing, impactful, and downright evil times in history. Although, when we learn about this time period in school, we focus on the Hitler, the Germans, and the Japanese. They were the prime enemy, full of evil and monstrous capabilities. Then there was us, the strong, great, undefeatable United States of America. If you look back on the principal now, its almost as if it was an action packed film, full of war, superheroes, and villains. The sad truth though, it was real. Real people fought, real people suffered, and real people died. I’m sure everyone including myself can agree that we are thankful it ended how it did. Yet, that doesn’t mean everything we did during the war was completely ethical. During these fearful times, America needed a way to ensure the citizens were on their side, and the most effective way was the use of propaganda art. This tactic was and still is used to psychologically influence people in order to alter their social perceptions and dehumanize the enemy. One these images used exaggerated illustration, the technique of fear appeal, and the logical fallacy of unwarranted extrapolation to construct a propaganda image that will forever be marked upon history.
One image in particular that stuck out to me was created by the Douglas Aircraft Company to warn all Americans to not waste materials. To start, the illustrator uses thick lines and dark colors to set the ominous disturbing tone. It depicts a terrifying portrayal of a japanese man with a sign that reads, “Tokio kid say much waste material make me so-o-o-o happy! Thank you!” written in blood with a dagger. The dagger supports the portrayal of Japanese as cold-blooded mindless killers. The...

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...h these problems have since been resolved, they will never be forgotten. This image used exaggerated illustration, the technique of fear appeal, and the logical fallacy of unwarranted extrapolation to construct a propaganda image that will forever be marked upon history. Though propaganda is not used even half as much as it used to be, it was a successful tactic in ensuring that Americans rallied for the protection and safety of our country, and that in itself makes it a very important piece of history.

Works Cited
Barnes, Michael. "Arguments Against the Atomic Bomb." 13 January 2013. Authentic History. 20 November 2013 . (For picture and information)

"World War II (1939–1945) | Infoplease.com." Infoplease.
© 2000–2013 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.
02 Dec. 2013

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