Part B (I): Comparing two representations After and during the war, many representations of what happened were published, these representations showed some similarities and some different views on the Vietnam War. During this essay I will discussing the similarities and differences between representation one and two. Representation one is a poster from 1972 created by the committee to encourage not to join the war. This group was formed in 1969 and consisted of professional advertising agency artists and writers who committed themselves to using their skills to “unsell” the war, rather than to sell products.
Representation two is from a book called History Investigations: Vietnam war written by John Simkin and was published in 1987, which was over ten years after the war was over. There are some similarities between the two accounts of the war, in both R1 and R2. Such as, they both deal with the anti-war movement, and show how America was not in favour of the war, supporting the protest and campaign against it. They both show the lack of support of the war. In addition, they both show a lack of support in the middle classes, (students and advertising artists)… There are quite a few differences between representations one and two.
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Some of which are more prominent than others. Representation one is an extremely biased view on the Vietnam War. And is a poster (pictorial representation) of Uncle Sam, the aim of the poster is to discourage people joining and supporting the Vietnam War. The poster is an ironic portrayal of the original poster, (which came from World War two and one, to encourage men to enlist) Representation one, is a spoof of the original, with the picture of Uncle Sam ripped, and behind is skeleton of Uncle Sam. This is portraying that usually, the war just ends in death, encouraging people to support the anti-war movement.
As the poster was created was in 1972, the anti- war movement was at a fever pitch. Vietnamisation had already started in Vietnam. The poster was created, not to discourage people not to join, but more to encourage people to support the anti-war movement. Its whole purpose is to be emotive, and make the viewer feel such emotion that they resulted in supporting the anti-war movement and to turn as many people against the war; the poster is designed, for a mass audience so that it could succeed in doing this intention. R1 is a primary source; it was from the time when the Vietnam War took place.
On the other hand, representation two is more factual and objective giving the reader a chance to decide on their own view of the war. In contrast to R1, R2 has a more educational ambition, to enlighten those who don’t know much of the war and the Anti-war movement. Compared to R1, it is a secondary account of the war, as it was published in 1987 which was after the war was over. Finally, the last difference that R2 has compared to R1 is that it is a written account of the War, and not a pictorial representation like R1 is. Furthermore R2 is much more detailed than R1.
Whereas R1 is an example of anti-war propaganda, R2 tells all about who opposed the war, such as the ‘liberals, who believed that the best way of stopping the spread of communism, was by encouraging democratic rather than authoritarian, governments. ‘ And also ‘Norman Morrsion, a Quaker from Baltimore… Followed the example of the Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc and publicly burnt himself to death’. This shows just how many different groups of people opposed the war, and the few specific individuals who were so against the war that they publicly killed themselves in extreme protest.
Finally, R2 is extremely balanced, and comprehensive. While representation one is biased, the poster itself is a clear example of the strong resentment towards the war at that time; it does not show any other information about the anti-war movement throughout the Vietnam War. This shows the objective and balanced nature of R2, in contrast to the extremely biased nature of R1. Although the two representations are very different, there are the few similarities that make them both very equivalent to each other. Such as the way they’re both opposing the Vietnam War.