“Destroy propaganda. The first thing to notice is the

“Destroy This Mad Brute-ENLIST” is
an anti-German propaganda created to encourage men to join the army during
World War I in 1917. The U.S. Army recruitment poster was created be an artist
and business man, Harry Ryle Hopps. The poster has similarities and gave
inspiration to the movie King Kong,
which was released in 1933. The poster gives out a message to the Americans and
uses symbolism that gives objects or people reasoning of what they represent
during the war. There are historical facts and reasons to why the propaganda
was created, for who and how it was inspired in 1917.

 

            In
1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassination had Austria-Hungary declare
war against Siberia, which started World War I (Hellfeld). Two and a half years
later, the United States then declared war on Germany; President Wilson asked
for a declaration of war against Germany in order “to make the world safe for
democracy” (“America Declares War…1917”). “In January 1917, Germany renewed its
policy of unrestricted submarine warfare that it had abandoned in 1915 after
the sinking of the Lusitania” (“America Declares War…1917”). Propaganda posters
were used frequently during World War I to demonize the enemy, instilling
guilt, play on emotions, whip up fear and hysteria, appeal to patriotic
obligations, and promise personal rewards or improvements. The anti-German
propaganda led Americans to be afraid and know who is the enemy that affect
there country.

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            The
propaganda poster “Destroy This Mad Brute-ENLIST” shows a gorilla roaring with
an angry expression, while it is wearing a German helmet labeled “militarism.”
The gorilla also is seen carrying a half-naked woman and holding a bloody club
labeled “Kultur” as he is stomping on the shore of America. In the poster, the
background seems very dark and depressing, and the city has a mass destruction
caused by the gorilla. My thought of this image at first was odd, but after doing
research, it became clearer and I was able to understand the analysis of the
propaganda. The first thing to notice is the gorilla because it reminds me of
the movie King Kong and it shows an
angry expression. The poster is likely to remind viewers today or a subsequent
fantasy take about interspecies sexuality, King
Kong (1933) (Lubin 29). All variations of the poster end the same way;
Whereas in the Enlist, the perpetrators of violence against women and children
are still unseen, hiding out of sight, this time they are front and center, as
ascribed by the apish beast (Lubin 28). The propaganda illustrates Germany as
the enemy during the World War in 1917. It was created to portray Germans as a
dangerous beast, who will bring violence to America’s shores. Hopps shares the
message “ENLIST” to the Americans, so they can “destroy the mad brute.” The
poster apprises about the past of when the German-Americans faced persecution
during the war, which was brutal for the Germans. The gorilla carrying the
half-naked woman show that they are dehumanizing the Germans and using fear of
German invasion to scare men into enlisting into the U.S. Army-to fight it.

 

            Harry
R. Hopps wants the audience to portray Germans as aggressive, savage,
materialistic, and uncivilized (“Anti-German…Propaganda”). He wants to motivate
the men into joining the army, so they can be able to fight against the enemy
that tries to destroy their country. The poster was made for the Americans to
see the message and be informed; Though, the Americans found that the poster
was distasteful, for no other posters from the period are as violent as this
(Lubin 28). Hopps wanted the Americans to portray the Germans as enemies during
the war in 1917.

 

            The
image of the propaganda taught me the history of part of World War I, which had
hatred upon Germany and that it inspired Harry Ryle Hopps to create something
to put out to the world. On the other hand, I understand he tried to help his
country to increase U.S Army recruitment, so they can defeat Germany during the
war. The propaganda encouraged men to join the army and help fight against the
Germans and it has increased the Army Recruitment. Researching more about this
propaganda helped me learn more of the events, causes, and conflicts in World
War I.

 

Works
Cited

“America
Declares War on Germany, 1917,” EyeWitness to History, 2006, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com

Hellfeld,
Matthias V. “The Assassination that started World War I.” Deutsche Welle, 17 October 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/the-assassination-that-started-world-war-i/a-4744730.

Lubin,
David M. Grande Illusions: American Art and the First World War. Oxford
UP, 2016, Book.

 

 

 

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