Propaganda Posters- Compare and contrast

The propaganda poster ‘Daddy, what did you do’ was a British government-made poster which was created for the purpose of recruiting men for the army. Another propaganda poster is ‘Lieb Vaterland’ which was made by the German government to persuade their country to stay strong and keep them positive. Both these poster have similarities and differences. They are mostly different in their colour, purpose and symbols.

The British poster has a flat colour scheme mostly composed of neutral tones. Shades of brown dominate the scene, whilst the green and blue offer contrast. Additional colours shown in the poster are white and yellow. The blue helps represent the purity and innocence of the girl as she asks her father about his activities.

On the other hand, in the German poster, the colours used are those that represent Germany and their enemy, the Triple Entente: France, UK and Russia. The British sailor is wearing a blue and white uniform while the French officer is in blue, red and gold. The Russian officer, though, is seen wearing a green uniform. The German man is drawn wearing a brown uniform with a rifle strapped across his back. Being the only one with a weapon, the German’s show that they have the most power. The colours are bright because it is an encouraging and supporting poster.

Morover, on the British propaganda, the symbols used are the words ‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?’ as well as the boy with the toy soldiers, the little girl reading a book on her fathers lap and the father himself. The young boy playing with the toy soldiers shows that the idea of going to war and fighting for your country was a praiseworthy action. The wordings, coming from the girl to her father, suggest that the war is already over and she wants to know her fathers involvement in the Great War. By the contemplative expression on his face, we can tell that he doesn’t know he contributed and is ashamed and feeling guilty for not doing so. The ‘YOU is written in this was because it emphasizes the fact that it is directly aiming at the men of Britain to join the army. The method used for this poster is guilt.

In contrast, the symbols used in the German propaganda poster are the saying ‘Lieb Vaterland magst ruhig sein!’ as well as the four men, each representing their own country. The German saying in English translates to: ‘Dear homeland, have no fear’. The saying was used as moral support for the nation and enhancing the notion of nationalism. The German officer is holding two men by the necks while resting his foot on another man. The man he is stepping on is a British sailor and the two men he is grabbing are French and Russian officers. The German officer is drawn much larger than the others to show that the country is in control of the situation and is more superior. Furthermore, the German officer is seen to be calm and happy, as he is blowing smoke out of a pipe while the other three men have expressions of panic and defeat.

Even though the two posters have many differences, they also share some common aspects. Although the colour schemes in the posters are different, they both are bright and eye catching, which makes it easier for audiences walking by it to understand. As well, they both have the same amount of text and imagery and are clearly interpreted. Additionally, they share the same intended audience. In the British poster, the audiences they are hoping to reach are the public. More specifically, the young men of Britain, who would not want to end up ashamed like the man in the poster, and join the army. In the German poster, the public is their intended audience as well. This poster targets a larger audience though. It is not only for the men, but also for the women and children to assure them that Germany is in control and not to be afraid.

The two posters have several differences with some similarities.

Journal

I have seen and been through more than I can handle. It’s too much. I think of my beautiful wife and two children every single day. I always wonder what they are doing, what they are eating, what they are thinking of. Are they thinking of me? I know they are safe, but at times they have no idea where I am, dear or alive. I’ve heard stories of families back home who receive news of their dead family members in war and end up going mad or killing themselves. I don’t want to put my family, through that.

Everyday I see men die cruel, horrible deaths.  Their bloody bodies left lying on the ground. They all had a family, people who cared for them and loved ones. But now, they have nothing. They are gone. Their families will receive the news and end up living a life of sorrow.

This is harder on me than I would have thought. I know all the men here are feeling it to, but nobody wants to show it. They are all wishing they had never come here, or that it ends soon. You can tell when some men have given up.

It’s been two weeks since I last wrote to my wife. Only two weeks, but I feel like it’s been forever.

Not only do I have to live without seeing my family, but also I think I’m falling ill. This morning my temperature was fairly high, my nose was runny and my eyes and skin was itchy. I’ve seen some soldiers go through similar symptoms. It’s mostly caused by the mustard gas.

One of my mates, Charlie, recently died. He was a victim of the terrible mustard gas that the German troops fired. Luckily I wasn’t there when the explosive hit. I heard, from some other soldiers who just returned from the hospital, that he was in a terrible condition. He was bleeding internally and externally and was struggling to breathe.

I’m terrible worried, I might be affected badly. I’m hoping this sickness would pass quickly. An awfully worrying thing it is.

I ought to get some sleep.

Christopher Blackstone

Dear Susan,

I miss all of you so very much. How are the children? I hope everything is doing well back home in London.

Much has happened since I had last written. Too much to write.

Just recently, some soldiers and I were sitting in the trench where we made a shelter with planks and sand bags. We were discussing some of our war plans. We had planned to travel to the border of France where our troops would support some of the French troops there. While we were doing this, the enemy started bombarding us. I was certain we were not going to make it. But obviously I was wrong. We started running out of the shelter because it was no match against the enemy’s firearm. I got as far away as I could, thankfully with slight injuries. The enemy held fire quite soon after. Only one soldier had got serious injuries, but he is healing quickly.

You are so lucky you don’t have to live in these filthy trenches. Not only have I had to fight and watch my friends die day by day, but also these pesky rats have caused major problems in our trenches. My fellow soldiers and I hardly had any sleep these past few nights. The trench rat’s problem has gone from bad to worse. The loud noises they make and their constant movement all over the trenches makes it extremely difficult to fall asleep. I tried endlessly to kill as many rats as possible before bed, but it’s impossible; they keep coming back. Our commander prohibited us from firing our weapons at the rats to kill them. We had to save our ammunition for the enemy and the enemy only, but some of us secretly fired at the rats when we just couldn’t handle it anymore. Just last night when I was finally falling asleep, I felt a strangely heavy weight run up my leg. Without doubt, I knew it was a rat. In an instant I grabbed my bayonet, which was at arms length, turned to my back so the rat would fall to the floor and stabbed it. Yes, it was a terrible sight, but I have gotten used to it. A few weeks back, I was walking through the trench, where I found a dead soldier. He had on the normal British soldier uniform as did the rest of us, but his was tattered, and drenched in blood. Under his shirt, just above his chest, I could see a large blob. I unbuttoned the dead soldiers shirt in curiosity and a giant cat-sized rat leaped out. The soldier’s chest was bitten into and scarred. A terrible sight it was.

I’m terribly sorry for making you have to read all my horrible problems. I wish I was there to just tell you all this, rather than writing it.

I will write to you soon. Tell everyone back home I sent my love.

Yours truly,

Christopher Blackstone

Week 1 Blog

So far in this topic, i have learned:

  • What triggered the World War.
  • The 5 causes of the war:
  1. Militarism
  2. Alliances/ Assassination
  3. Imperialism
  4. Nationalism
  • Who the alliances were:
  1. Triple Alliance:  Germany, Italy, Autria-Hungary
  2. Triple Entente: France, Russia, Britain
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

I want to learn:

  • About the other countries that were involved or helped.
  • About the outcomes of the war.
  • How it changed the world.
  • How long it took the people to recover.

Next Newer Entries