M4 discussion 10: world war ii | AMH2020

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Overview

The purpose of this discussion is to analyze and evaluate World War II recruitment posters.

Instructions

For this discussion, review your readings for Unit 10 (pdf American Yawp: World War II Chapter 24) and study the images carefully. Feel free to do research outside the course if you’d like other points of view.

Choose ONE of the images. Prepare a discussion where you explain, based on your readings, the answers to each of the following questions:

  1. Who is the audience, the target market, for the image?
  2. What ethical or moral values does the poster use to communicate its message? Are there relevant values that are not considered in the message?
  3. What is the poster’s purpose? What is the message that this poster communicates?
  4. Why is it important for this message to be delivered to this audience at this moment in time?
  5. How does the document communicate its message? Think about its use of language, color, space, and symbols.

Image of a robust young African American with dark brown skin against a tinted blue and black background suggesting the sea, with a smudge over the man's left shoulder that suggests a burning sunken ship.  Man is wearing a US Navy sailor's uniform, with a white sailor's tunic and black neckerchief and white sailor's cap.  There is a medal pinned to the left breast and the words, 'Above and Beyond the Call of Duty' in bold white letters over the man's head; on his right are the words, 'DORIE MILLER: Received the Navy Cross at Pearl Harbor, May 27, 1942'   The man's eyes look off to the distance above the viewer, his expression is serious and also proud.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty–Dorie Miller received the Navy Cross at Pearl Harbor, May 27, 1942, [Public Domain via Wikimedia]

Two posters side by side.  The one on the left of the screen features a jungle scene surrounded by a white border, with red outlining the image and the words 'Let's Go Get 'em!' in bold blue letters on the top.  At the bottom in the same font are the words, U.S. Marines.  In the image there is lush jungle greenery, an American flag and the Marine Corps flag behind two soldiers, each dressed in military fatigues and pointing rifles at enemies not seen in the image.***  To the right of the screen is a poster with a white background.  At the top in blue letters is the question, 'Are you a girl with a Star-Spangled heart?' At the bottom in a red rectangle are the words, 'Join the WAC Now! Women's Army Corps, United States Army.'  In a white highlighted box are the words, 'Thousands of Army Jobs need filling!'  A pretty young white woman's image is set above the red box in the center of the image, the American flag waving behind her.  She has chic short brunette hair peeking out of a military cap with a brim and the WAC logo on the front, and though you can only see her head and shoulders, she appears to be wearing a khaki military uniform with a suit jacket, collared blouse and necktie.  She has delicate features, her eyes and lips are made up and her expression is thoughtful, perhaps a little sad

This pair of U.S. military recruiting posters demonstrates the way that two branches of the military—the Marines and the Women’s Army Corps—borrowed techniques from professional advertisers to “sell” a romantic vision of war to Americans. One shows Marines at war in a lush jungle, reminding viewers that the war was taking place in exotic lands; the other depicted women taking on new jobs as a patriotic duty.
Bradshaw Crandall, Are You a Girl with a Star-Spangled Heart? Recruiting Publicity Bureau, U.S. Women’s Army Corps Recruiting Poster (1943); Unknown, Let’s Go Get ‘Em. Beck Engraving Co. (1942). Library of Congress. [Public domain via American Yawp]

Before you complete your discussion, make sure you refer to the course rubric for the expectations for this assignment.  Participating in the course discussions is an important part of your final grade. In your discussions, you cannot simply reply to someone’s posting with “ditto” or “I agree with you”.   You must answer the question(s) asked in a minimum of two paragraphs and a maximum of three paragraphs. Your responses should also quote and cite the material you have read in the class so far; you may also do outside research.  Use the Purdue OWL Chicago Style guide for help with the correct citation style for your quotes.

Then, respond to at least TWO classmates’ postings referring to at least one element of critical thinking.  Your response to your classmates should be a minimum of two sentences, and a maximum of four sentences (refer to your Introduction to Critical Thinking and to the How to Read History Sources modules for a review of how to read primary sources).

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