Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Wartime, TypeCasting

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Wartime, TypeCasting

In the reading Typecasting in the book Wartime the author writes how the sides and soldiers in World War Two were stereotyped. The Japanese were looked at as animals, a dwarfish species. And the U.S. loved killing them, they got great pleasure from killing the Japanese. The Japanese were able to see in the dark as the Americans mythed. The Japanese were able to survive on grubs and roots. A distinct advantage over the Americans. The Japanese would do heinous things to American prisoners of war. In one incident the Japanese castrated an American. In another incident an American soldier got his hands and head chopped off by the Japanese. In return the Americans used Japanese as rifle targets when they held them prisoners of war. The Americans also used to steal the gold teeth of the Japanese, dead or alive. The Germans were looked upon as more human than the Japanese. But not without fault. The Germans as the Allies viewed were cold, pendatic, unimaginative and sinister, they were purely sick human beings. They hung poles and gassed Jews. They were percieved the whole lot of them as enemies of human decency. The Germans were heartless, evil to the core. The Germans were a disease spreading out all around Europe, like a cancer taking over a body. The Italians were looked as as weak and without the nature for war. They were the chefs sort of speak. As one British soldier said after a fine gourmet meal, in Taranto "We should never have fought these men." ,meaning the Italians. The Germans held the Italians in contempt for most of the war, mainly because they were so much like the Americans according to the Germans. The Germans saw the Americans as lazy and ignorant, that's how the Italians were. The Italians were motivated by vainglory and cowardice. They were neat and took care of things like their uniforms and this surprised alot of British prisoners of war. The Italians were viewed as incompetent, fraudulence and cowards. The Americans saw that it was fit for the Japanese to crawl on their stomachs in the malarial jungles of the South Pacific. The Germans were fit to defend the Apenninies from behind mountain barricades. And almost impossible to see them swap fighting styles. So Americans saw the Japanese as beast like yellow skinned animals, the Germans as sick and the Italians as preposterous. The Americans in the end felt the forces of decency and rightousness had been victorious.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

American ideas about different nationalities during WWII helped us to make sense of the war. Typecasting is a part of human culture, even when we are not at war. Propagandists need to work with these images to shape our behavior.

3/13/2006 10:28 PM  

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