J. Howard Miller produced the “We Can Do It” poster in 1943, during World War II, as propaganda for woman in America. For century’s woman were perceived as weaker than men, this poster started to press into ideas of feminism as it introduced the concept that men and woman could do the same things. The image evokes connotations of patriotism, masculinity, and strength. The poster is clearly targeted to the housewife demographic of America and collects its persuasion from empathy towards their husbands being at war. The woman in the poster is portrayed as a symbol of strength, which assists with the pain of their men being at war, and to convince them to work. Although the message surrounds ideas of strength, it still maintains strong undertones of femininity to reassure viewers that American woman can be both. This essay will observe and examine the different techniques and effects used within this imagery to create the ideological and conceptual state. Specifically this essay will focus on the meanings that are generated from the visual content and attempt to explain there significance to the environment the poster was produced in.
With concern to the interpersonal meaning the image is very interactive with the viewers not suggesting but demanding that “(They) Can Do It”. This phrase combined with the image of the strong woman conduct a high level of engagement with the reader as they receive this call to action. The idea of doing men’s jobs or positions could be an uncomfortable concept to American woman. The image sustains the relationship with its audience through the use of a red bandana and beauty products, used on the woman’s face, for reassure that femininity would still be attainable. Through creating a compelling image and provocative text, the poster aims to get woman into the work force, which forms the ideational meaning. “When trying to make sense of the subject we will bring our cultural knowledge, our understanding of social rules, to bear...
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