World War 1 Rhetorical Analysis

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In the above poster entitled, Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man, I'd Join the Navy. Be a Man and Do It., the image of a youthful young woman was dressed up in a men’s Navy uniform stating that if she were a man, she would join the Navy. Not only is this type of propaganda a blatant form of using sex to get a man’s attention, but also a form of demasculinization/humiliation, motivation, and patriotism. During World War I, President Wilson established the Committee on Public Information (CPI), which was directed by George Creel and its main function was to promote the war effort via propaganda. One of the ways that they promoted the war effort was with the use of posters as seen above. These posters used various means of shaping the publics opinion about the war, who our enemy was, and our need to be involved. They also helped shape public support in recruitment, patriotism, and learning to sacrifice for ones country. As Clayton Funk argues in his article “Popular Culture, Art Education, and the Committee on Public Information During World War I, 1915-1919,” the CPI tried to romanticize the war to the American public instead of letting them know the real truth about the tragedies of war through outright censorship. By using a sexy image as a tool, this woman seemed to be …show more content…

Because this poster had a woman depicted in a man’s uniform, women felt motivated to encourage their husbands, brothers, and fathers to join the military and/or support the war effort. Propaganda worked in this situation because, obviously, if this woman “were a man” and would “do it,” why should her husband not do “it”? A lot of war propaganda was aimed at women to encourage them to do things such as: purchase war bonds, eat certain foods, save scrap metal, become nurses, etc. The major theme in many of the war time posters were encouraging men to do their patriotic duty and join the military and/or women to join the nursing

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