iii. seductive and wholesome values: the cult of Hitler

Test out this idea of propaganda as emotional rather than rational appeal, as the building of associations and labels, subtle connections rather than straight forward assertions. Take a look at a series of posters of Hitler, and try to take them apart. "Read" them in the way that we have in analyzing several examples already.

Hitler worked with a professional actor to help him develop poses and gestures that suggested authority, confidence, power, and leadership capabilities. In his public appearances, as well as many of the posters depicting him, Hitler sought to project himself as a cult figure, a one-of-a-kind leader, the savior of his nation. He wanted to be seen as the pinnacle of the government and the nation, and everyone owed loyalty and allegiance to him. The individual was insignificant when the master scheme of things was to fulfill Germany's "destiny" through this one man.

In looking at this collection of posters of Hitler see how well you can envision what was going through the propagandists' minds when they designed them. Do patterns begin to emerge within a poster or among posters? How does the wording on a poster add to the meaning and effect? You be the detective.

Look at more posters and practice analyzing the imagery.


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