Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dr. Seuss Propaganda

On the subject of propaganda, especially political propaganda, I found that the cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are targeted towards WWII are similar in many ways to the ones regarding the French Revolution. First of all, I found it extremely interesting that Dr. Seuss, the man that wrote so many stories that taught morals to children, would engage in mudslinging, but that is a different issue... Obviously, any American at the time of this war would have been greatly disturbed by the dictators who were a part of the axis. Not only did Dr. Seuss create cartoons to make people more passionate about the war, but he also did a bit of advertising. He used very convincing cartoons to try and get people to buy savings bonds and stamps to stimulate the economy. In this cartoon above, he used a symbol the represents a very strong part of America's identity and used that to scare people into buying things. It's quite clever and pretty interesting to think of Dr. Seuss as a manipulator, not that he didn't have good cause.

The cartoon epicting issues of the French Revolution, "The Contrast", there is a definite one sided idea present, saying that the British government is better than the French. It uses words such as; atheism, treason, anarchy and misery to describe the French, and word like; religion, morality, security, protection, prosperity and happiness to describe the British.
These cartoons by Dr. Seuss, along with many of the other political, war cartoons he did show a definite side and even a marketing motive. He uses the humor of making fun of people, such as the one below of General Hideki Tojo of Japan, to make people of America feel superior in some way to someone as silly looking as him, and that, teamed with the discust of his behavior in realiy make the viewer want to wipe that sneer off of his face, but how does one go about that? Oh, by buying savings bonds and stamps! The art of propaganda is genius really. It sways minds, and if it doesn't have to do that, it makes those minds firmly decided and revs them up for action.

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