What is happening in this picture? PROPAGANDA POSTERS L.O. To identify and explain the effect of three presentational devices used in propaganda posters
Why do you think so many men signed up for the war?
Watch the extract from ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ to add to your list of reasons men enlisted for the war.
Image – name for picture used in a media text Font – the size, colour and style of the text Layout – how all the presentational devices are arranged Text box – related details in a helpful box Background – what is going on at the back of a text Colours - shades used for fonts, pictures, backgrounds, etc Presentational devices are factors which affect the way that a text looks on a page. Presentational Devices
<ul><li>Britain entered the war on 4 August 1914. The possessor of a small professional army she had urgent need of more men - many, many more men - for training within the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Thus the government in London acted quickly in bringing out a stream of recruitment posters, including possibly the most famous of its type, featuring Lord Kitchener ("Your Country Wants You!"). </li></ul><ul><li>Other posters followed in due course: </li></ul><ul><li>Urging wartime economy; </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging continued support for government policy, usually by whipping up indignation against the latest alleged outrages committed (invariably) by the German Army. </li></ul>
How would you describe this font? What is its effect? What is in the background? Why has this setting been chosen? What are the children doing? What impression do you have of this family? What emotion is this father showing?
Of the nations which went to war from 1914-18 Germany was arguably the best prepared. Along with France, the German government had long planned for war. Conscription was a matter of standard policy in pre-war Germany. However the German government (presided over by Kaiser Wilhelm II) was not averse to appealing for more men, and for stating the patent justice of their decision to enter into a state of war.
‘ While we fight you too must work for victory.’
What message is being conveyed here about the nature of war? What is happening in the background? What are the connotations of the colour choice? How would you describe this font? What is its effect? How would you describe this soldier? Is this the facial expression you would expect from a soldier?
The British recruitment poster has a domestic setting; a father is depicted with his young children in a comfortable, idyllic family room. The daughter is reading on her father’s knee, whilst the son is playing with football figures at his father’s feet. They look like well-behaved children who respect their father. Showing a conventional, generic yet wealthy family allows the poster to appeal to a wider audience, as people will either relate to the picture or have a desire to be a part of such a family. The curved font, floral curtains and traditional décor contribute to the innocence being evoked by the children. This innocence and the family ideals being portrayed are offered as motives for joining the army; it is a scene worth protecting. The poster is offering a glimpse of what the future could be like – it is suggesting that when the war is won, people can expect a perfect family and the fathers will be treated as heroes, admired by their children. In contrast, the German poster shows a soldier in the midst of a battle. The writing on it translates as: ‘While we fight you too must work for victory.’ The dark, gloomy colours, blurred, smoky background and the vacant facial expression implore the factory workers, and all those who did not go to war, to work just as hard as this shell-shocked soldier. The harsh, dramatic font connotes violence and urgency. The soldiers have no time for comfort – the focus is on the war. This is a reminder to those at home that the war is dangerous and those fighting in it therefore need to feel supported and have a country worth returning to. Both posters are using guilt, either as a recruitment tool or to encourage those left behind to keep working hard to support the war effort.
<ul><li>In groups of four, analyse the presentational devices used in your poster. Consider: </li></ul><ul><li>Images, colour, font and layout </li></ul><ul><li>The message of the poster </li></ul><ul><li>The effect it has on the audience </li></ul>
<ul><li>Plenary: </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback your responses to your posters. </li></ul><ul><li>What does propaganda mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Write a paragraph explaining why men signed up for the war. </li></ul>