Propaganda Prints From The United States During World War I Essay

2685 Words Sep 30th, 2016 11 Pages
Often containing didactic messages intended to persuade audiences into a certain set of behaviors or impress upon them a certain set of ideals, propaganda has been used by human culture and society for thousands of years. With the advent of the printing press in 1436 by a German goldsmith named Johaness Gutenberg, propaganda prints became more and more widespread and delivered with greater ease to the masses. The printing press became widely used throughout the modern world by the beginning of the 20th century and when the United States became entrenched in the world conflict known as World War I in 1917, propaganda became a powerful tool used by the government and private entities alike to rally the population towards a side and ultimately, action.
This paper will perform a descriptive analysis on two mainstream propaganda prints used in the United States during World War I, one of a female subject (labeled “Figure 1”) and one of a male subject (labeled “Figure 2”), before moving to a comparative analysis that will break down the very fabric of ideals and concepts meant to be portrayed in the prints.

Figure 1 is a print created c. 1918 by Władysław Teodor Benda. It is most broadly of a woman knitting, with the words “You can help” and “AMERICAN RED CROSS” under the print and a large red cross, the symbol of the American Red Cross, in the upper left-hand corner of the frame. The print itself has the dimensions 74x50 centimeters giving it a height-to-width ratio of 1.48:1…

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