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Techniques Used in World War II Propaganda Posters: Analytical Essay

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When World War II began, Britain released several propaganda posters. Through diction, symbolism, and imagery, Britain attempted to persuade its citizens to join in the war effort.

Throughout several of the posters, targeted diction is used to convince the audience that it is essential for them to go to war. The emphasis on the word 'our' in one of the posters is meant to make the viewer feel like they need to fight to feel like a part of their country. It targets their sense of pride in Britain and makes joining the war seem like an obligation. The word 'home' being used to describe air defense in another poster connects the viewer with the soldiers in the planes. It is intended to create a sense of possession over their country and is supposed to convince the viewer to want to protect what they view as theirs. Guilt and shame are also used to persuade the audience, such as the word 'wasted' when talking about hours not spent on the war effort. This is meant to make the viewer feel ashamed for not participating and suggests that they are lazy for not doing so. The mixture of both positive and negative diction is used to drive the viewer toward wanting to enlist.

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The imagery used throughout the posters is made to show that all British citizens should take part in the war. One poster shows a family on the beach viewing the passing planes, while the father happily points them out to his son. This targets the typical British family at the time and is meant to glorify the war effort. It tells kids that their parents are happy about the war, while simultaneously conveying to adults that they should also be glad about it. Another poster displays a crowd of people with the image of a huge, ambiguous soldier behind them. The crowd includes both men and women, and the unidentifiable soldier behind them reinforces the message that everyone, regardless of gender, should be helping out with the war.

The posters also rely on visual help to capture the attention of their audience and create a mood. All the posters contain some type of contrast in their text and bright background images. The white text against the red background in the first poster immediately makes the viewer pay attention to the words. The images also use bright, flashy colors, such as yellow or red. This causes the viewer to feel a sense of passion or joy because of the emotions linked to those colors. The only poster with darker and dimmer colors used is the one that shames people for not joining the war effort. The choices in color throughout the posters are specifically chosen to elicit a desired emotion from the audience.

Through these techniques, the audience is meant to feel various emotions that would cause them to want to help out with the war, such as passion, a sense of possession, or shame. The persuasive methods target the viewer to want to enlist and, based on the eventual size of the war, successfully do so.

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Techniques Used in World War II Propaganda Posters: Analytical Essay. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/techniques-used-in-world-war-ii-propaganda-posters-analytical-essay/
“Techniques Used in World War II Propaganda Posters: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 21 Nov. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/techniques-used-in-world-war-ii-propaganda-posters-analytical-essay/
Techniques Used in World War II Propaganda Posters: Analytical Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/techniques-used-in-world-war-ii-propaganda-posters-analytical-essay/> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
Techniques Used in World War II Propaganda Posters: Analytical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Nov 21 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/techniques-used-in-world-war-ii-propaganda-posters-analytical-essay/
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