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Dr. Seuss created this political cartoon. During World War Two, Dr. Seuss drew many political cartoons promoting war and also many propaganda pieces for the war as he worked for the New York City publication
and also working directly for the United States military. This cartoon indicated that Dr. Seuss believed that the United States would involve itself in the war despite how the United States attempted to avoid involving itself.
was a far left publication but Dr. Seuss still drew many cartoons which promoted entering the war. This cartoon was produced during World War Two but before the United States entered the fight which was why it depicted the United States’ naïve belief that Americans could avoid entering the war because the United States had not entered the war yet. Readers would have first seen this cartoon in the tabloid
. This sketch addresses World War Two and the United States’ involvement in it or lack thereof. The United States did not enter the war when it first began and many isolationists tried to prevent the United States from entering; the United States had often in the past attempted to remain isolationist. The United State was represented by Uncle Sam and the European countries involved in the war were also each represented in a separate bed; the different problems in the war were also depicted as each of the figures in the bed was labeled with an illness which was derived from the problems they faced. The European countries all looked very sick while Uncle Sam appeared healthy which reflected how the different countries were affected by the war at this time. Uncle Sam’s words also reflected the ideas of the isolationists in America, and Dr. Seuss mocked them sarcastically with the statement he wrote at the bottom of the cartoon. Often in his cartoons during this time, Dr. Seuss would mock the isolationists and this was an example of him doing that. Since it was written in a liberal publication, primarily liberals would have been reading it but this did not keep Dr. Seuss from writing what he believed rather than what many other liberals believes as some liberals had isolationist views. Dr. Seuss wrote this cartoon to criticize isolationists so they were included in his target audience but also anyone involved in politics would have been included in his audience as he was promoting the United States becoming involved in the war. Politicians, particularly isolationists, would have paid attention to this cartoon since it was meant to influence them. Isolationists would have been offended by the cartoon as Dr. Seuss was criticizing them. This cartoon was created to support the United States becoming involved in the war and to mock those who did not want that to happen or who did not believe that would happen. It was produced at this time because the United States had not yet entered the war. The political need was to address how the United States cannot avoid the war and it conveyed that the United States should enter the war and that the isolationists were wrong to think that the United States would not. This material was significant because it showed that some Americans felt that the United States should have entered the war. The political implications were that the isolationists were naïve. This cartoon may have incited support for joining the fight in the war.
KEO- This cartoon was drawn by Dr. Seuss and it appeared in
on April 28, 1941. Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist from 1941-1943 and he drew over 400 cartoons for the New York newspaper
of which he was the chief editorial cartoonist.
was a leftist and uncensored newspaper that welcomed cartoons on controversial issues. At the beginning of World War II, a majority of Americans saw the war as a foreign problem and they opposed US intervention; Dr. Seuss, however, favored intervention because he thought war with Nazi Germany was inevitable and the US should aid Great Britain.
also favored intervention so Seuss chose this newspaper as the place to publish his cartoons. The US did not end its isolationist policy until it officially declared war on December 8, 1941 so this cartoon was published several months prior to the incident. The quarter in the cartoon is referred to as a “Lindbergh Quarter” because Charles Lindbergh was a strong advocate of keeping the US out of the war. Several of Seuss’ cartoons included ostriches with their heads in the ground to show how Americans were blocking out the events that were occurring in Europe and staying isolated from the conflict. Seuss emphasizes the US’ isolationist feelings by writing “and how” after “In God we trust,” implying the US was willing to leave everything in the hands of God and not get involved. Seuss referenced America’s imperialist past when he said underneath the cartoon, “Since when did we swap our ego for an ostrich?” The US had made an effort to assert its position globally during the early 1900s, especially during TR’s presidency, and now Seuss was criticizing the country for backing out of a significant world affair instead of getting involved. Seuss expressed the country’s need to get its head out of the ground and go back to what he believed to be the traditional American mindset. The humor in the cartoon is characteristic of Seuss and the humor adds to his message by making the isolationist view seem ridiculous. Seuss obviously appealed to an audience of anti-isolationist people, but he also attracted the attention of isolationists by showing them how stupid he thought their ideas were. These cartoons, as well as the others in Seuss’ collection, are significant in that they represented one of the strongest arguments against US isolationist policies prior to World War II. Seuss’ cartoons would have had the potential to spark controversy and grab people’s attention which could possibly convince them to adopt his views and support US participation in the war.
This cartoon was created by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Seuss frequently contributed to the New York daily newspaper, PM. This newspaper was famous as a leftist publication. Previously, many of the Seuss cartoons expressed his support for buying US bonds and stamps. Audiences encountered this material in the newspaper which was daily circuited through the New York metropolitan area. This cartoon was featured in PM on December 12, 1941, just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The cartoon portrays Hitler and a Japanese man sculpted into Mt. Rushmore. The Germans and the Japanese became allies against the United States and its allies. This cartoon’s intent was to warn American of the potential outcome of the war if citizens did not answer their domestic call to war through the purchase of war bonds and stamps. The title “Liberators of America,” is an emotional appeal to anger Americans into action. The Swastika embellished on the flag at the bottom of the cartoon is flying above the American Flag, another indication of the fear tactics used in political cartooning. Seuss’ characteristic portrayal of the Japanese is different than his Hitler depiction. Hitler is easily recognized, but the Japanese caricature is represented with a pig nose, very slanted eyes, thick glasses and big teeth. These features seem to indicate that Seuss was prejudiced against the Japanese. Many individuals were too outraged at the Japanese and this depiction also corresponded with their sentiments. These renderings supported the US fear of the Japanese and helped foster the Executive Order 9066 leading to the relocation of Japanese Americans into internment camps. This cartoon was created following the US entering of WWII and those racists feeling were a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The implication of the cartoon was to remind Americans of the war effort that needed to be adhered to at home and that their support of the troops was essential for victory. Dr. Seuss continued to publish many political cartoons during WWII which voiced the same underlying message.
Before becoming one of America’s greatest poets, Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist. Throughout his life Dr. Seuss wrote for reasons that were in a broad sense political: attacking racism, fighting for the environment, condemning isolationism, working for literacy, and ridiculing the arms race. During World War II Dr. Seuss drew editorial cartoons for the left-wing newspaper PM. Published on October 1, 1941, in PM Seuss depicts a mother in her glasses and button boots with ‘America First’ written across her sweater. The woman is reading a fable “Adolf the Wolf” to her two horrified and perplexed looking children, the woman says ‘…and the Wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones…but those were
and it really didn’t matter.’ Just as in many of Seuss’s PM cartoons and children’s stories, he asserts the discussed quandary (in this case the killing of F
) did matter and does matter. The ‘America First’ ideology illustrated on the mother’s sweater is most notoriously related to the non-interventionist group that used celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh as a primary spokes person. Throughout his wartime work, Seuss had shown particular concern for children and their education. What horrified Seuss about fascism was what he saw as the exploitation of children’s minds, and its conversion of education into indoctrination. These ideologies support Seuss’s reasons for the United States entering World War II. In terms of Dr. Seuss’s audience for older readers raised on these stories and younger readers encountering them for the first time, Seuss offers preparation to the dangerous world beyond his books, encouraging his audience to be mindful of the rights of others, and strive to make choices that cause the least harm and the most good.
The cartoon, "Lord Give Us Strength...", drawn by John Frith in 1941 and published in The Bulletin, depicts Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Goebbels, are shown pleading to the heavens for the strength to annihilate two "Little Peoples". Frith refers to Britain and Australia as two peaceful Little Peoples because he felt the Germans were planned to maliciously destroy Britain and its dominion Australia. Frith is clearly biased in this regard since he was born in London and lived in Sydney, therefore he believed the Germans wanted to destroy the British simply due to their evil nature, rather than the political reasons. He later commented on his lack of concern with politics with the quote, “Politics at that time meant nothing to me but faces I couldn’t resist, and the speaker was a beauty.” - John Frith, c. 1975, thus indicating that his cartoons were based more on emotion and opinion rather than political reasoning. Although Nazi Germany had its own motives, the majority of the Allied population believed the Nazis were truly a force of evil. Thus many individuals in fact favored the war, since it seemed as if there was a legitimate reason for fighting instead of fighting because a few politicians got into an argument and declared war because of it. This was further supported by the physical examples of the evil of the Nazi, like the capturing of the Sudentenland and the invasion of Poland. The clear reasons why World War II was fought contrasts war in the present. Many Americans do not know the reasons why the United States is fighting in the middle east, and many believe there is no legitimate reason at all. Though this is highly debatable, it is more reminiscent of the Vietnam War rather than World War II or World War I. Though there are perhaps an infinite amount of possible explanations for this, a prominent contender may be that the main difference between the World Wars and the modern wars is that the much more internationally connected world of today sees the middle east not as a force of evil but only as a problem, hence the lack of widespread approval of the war, while in the 1940s people viewed the Nazis as a blight upon the Earth rather than a mere problem.
This cartoon was created by a cartoonist named Jergen when the Nazis had gained a foothold in South America. The author of the cartoon is fearful of the fascism that has taken hold in nations like Brazil and fears that it soon could creep into the United States if not stopped. The issue of fascism was an important issue in World War Two and this picture surely resonated with pro-American audiences who had a poor view of Nazis and other fascist leaders. The swastika that is pushing into the South American man represents the steady push of fascism that South American nations experienced. The South American man trying to hold back the swastika, struggles to do so in the picture and will likely not be able to hold back the swastika any longer. The man in the bottom of the picture who appears to be Uncle Sam symbolizes the United States. This man sits back and is fearful of what may happen but fails to take any action against the creeping influence of the Nazi regime. This material was created for Americans who were anti-fascists so it is likely that the picture was an exaggeration of the truth. This picture was drawn in order to persuade Americans to be fearful of the future and imply that if fascism becomes strong in South America it is likely to make its way to North America. His main point is that the United States should take a more active role in this war and stop sitting on the sidelines while countries in the United State’s own hemisphere are being influenced by the fascists. This picture is important because it gives us perspective on the public view of the war in America. The picture shows us that Americans were willing to give up their isolationist principles and help defeat the fascist leaders that were a danger to both the South American nations and the United States.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, drew this political cartoon for PM Magizine, a far left publication, before the USA entered World War 2. Dr. Seuss was an outspoken advocate for American involvement in the war; Dr. Seuss believed that it was part of the US's burden as a free and moral nation to throw a rope to politically and militarily sinking Allies. In this cartoon, Dr. Seuss reduces the great American symbol - the eagle - to a more chicken resembling bird, thereby allegorically emphasising American as cowardly and stupidly aloof. American sits twidling its thumbs, which relates America's frivolity without war action. As the surrounding scene rages in battle, the oblivious American Bird rests on his rear-end atop its comfortabe chair and beneath a bow-topped umbrella. To the bird's closed eyes, America remained utopian. But, America's starry hat and sign are shot; slowly, Dr. Seuss draws, the bullets move toward an unnoticing eagle - a chicken rather. Dr. Seuss is emphasizing how such obliviousness is unsustainable and will only prolong US absence - not preclude it altogether. War was inevitable for the US, and as Pearl Harbor examples, the US laxness over conflict resulted in direct damage to the US. Even the cat beneath the rug is realizes surrounding chaos and percieves the looming threats.
The poem directly reference German Blitz-kreig invasions and American self-adoration (when the bird describes his fanny as canny). Considering this cartoon's publication date, Dr. Seuss refered to Germany's blitz of Poland and the Sudatenlande. Poland's fall comprises the "few hits" to which the US chicken refers. US policy makers believed their status as Americans lifted them above the quibbles and wars in Europe and left them free to ignore the situation; however, Dr. Seuss correctly predicted otherwise. Also, the poem sublty transitions from "sit" to "sitz" - the latter a more Germanic word. Dr. Seuss was asserting that as America turned a blind eye towards disaster in Europe, Americans were essentially condoning German's behavior until America was functionally embracing it. Dr. Seuss'
cartoon provokes Americans to join the war so that they would address the looming Axis who were swallowing Europe and much of the free world.
This cartoon was created by Dr. Seuss in March, 1942. It depicts the average citizen (“you”) standing before a huge billboard showing Hitler and a stereotypical Japanese man, reading a “guilt-inducing” message to support the USA in opposition of the Axis of Evil during World War II. Germany had invaded Poland in 1939, beginning the war (though their allies, the Japanese, had already invaded China, Manchuria, and the USSR beforehand). The Japanese later attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, only 3 months prior to the release of this cartoon. The main idea of this cartoon is that Hitler and Japan are serious threats to the well-being of the United States and its citizens, and that, as dedicated citizens, we need to find ways to “save your country from them”. The cartoon is clearly the blatant propaganda that pervaded the Second World War era. While Hitler is immediately recognizable, Seuss shows his disdain and racist regards to all Japanese people in general by depicting a generic Japanese man, rather than depicting Emperor Hirohito (because obviously, not all Japanese people have squinted eyes, glasses, and buck teeth). He emphasizes the threat the Axis puts on America by creating them much larger than “you”, with the underlying message that
needs to do their part if the Allies are to be victorious. The desired effect of this cartoon is to spur people to assist their nation by any means possible, whether that is war bonds, making weapons in the factories, or joining the military. The most likely audience being targeted with this cartoon is average and/or apathetic Americans who have not yet given, or have no desire to give, support to their besieged country.
The cartoon “Little Goldilocks Riding Hood” was created by Hebert Block in 1939. This renowned cartoonist was best known for his interpretations of domestic and foreign policy. He won the Pulitzer Prize 3 times for his work for the Chicago Daily News. The cartoon was published right before the start of World War II and showed that there might be a prospect of war. This cartoon depicts a
combined "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Goldilocks", representing "Poland", startled at finding "The Big Bad Wolf" as Hitler, representing "Nazi Germany", and one of the "Three Bears", representing "Soviet Russia", in bed waiting for her.
The cartoon combines both Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood to show one person has the threat of two huge predators. In this case it is Poland facing the threat of two huge powers, which are Germany and Russia. Historically the cartoon shows
the result of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact that was signed August 24, 1939. The pact opened the way for Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland. Hitler decided to make such a pact so that he would not face a war on two fronts. In World War I Germany lost because it’s troops were divided on two fronts. Hitler did not want to make the same mistake, so he made a pact with Russia so that if Germany went to war against England and France then Russia would not be at war with them on the Eastern front and also Russia would not protect Poland if Germany wanted to take over it. Hitler thought that the take over of Poland would be a peaceful one, but when it was not the pact was needed in order to insure that Hitler succeeded. The pact was supposed to last for 10 years but it only lasted for 2. Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1 precipitated World War II. The cartoon depicts how the innocent country of Poland was suddenly threatened by two of the biggest countries in Europe. Russia and Germany were on both sides of Poland and therefore Poland would not be able to escape. This cartoon was made for an American audience in order to possibly convince them to help Poland. The cartoon shows how World War II was started.
AVG - (for week of 1/31/11 - 2/6/11)
Clifford Berryman drew this cartoon for the
Washington Evening Star
in 1942. Berryman worked for the
(a relatively conservative newspaper) from 1907 until 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1944. Berryman disliked many aspects of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration and had previously drawn cartoons criticizing the increase in centralized government power resulting from FDR’s New Deal.
This cartoon was created in 1942, shortly after the United States of America entered World War II on the side of the Allies. As the U.S. government devoted increasing amounts of its energy toward winning the war, it often neglected other programs that it believed might interfere with its execution of the war. FDR admitted that his focus had changed from the New Deal to the war, and some New Deal programs (such as the CCC) were ended shortly after the America entered World War II. The inclusion of the idea of “guns and butter, too” in the scrap metal truck suggests that FDR had abandoned the hope of pursuing both domestic and military objectives and now focused exclusively on the war.
During World War II, the government urged Americans to recycle any metal as scrap that could then be used for war production. The cartoon suggests that Roosevelt views previous government and social programs the same way many Americans viewed metal: they should be destroyed to provide some advantage to the U.S. military, even if the benefit is as small as the value of scrap metal.
This cartoon was primarily aimed at American citizens who would benefit from social and economic reforms, such as the establishment of a forty-hour workweek or the St. Lawrence Seaway Project (a proposal to link the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes via canals). These Americans would be upset that projects were merely scrapped because of a war across the ocean and would urge the government not to forget them in the preoccupation with war production. However, because the
was based in Washington, many politicians would also have viewed this cartoon. Those who had supported government shift to focusing on the war might have been offended that their careful decision to emphasize what they viewed as America’s greatest problem was portrayed as casually scrapping social and economic gains.
This cartoon criticizes FDR for casually discarding social programs to benefit the U.S. military in World War II. Berryman does not criticize U.S. involvement in the war; he merely argues that internal programs should not be neglected as a result. Roosevelt in the cartoon refers to “more scrap” if the delivery truck returns, indicating Berryman’s fear that the United States will regress even further if Roosevelt’s sole concern is the war. Thus, Berryman hoped to remind Americans that, despite involvement in World War II, the government should not overlook or reverse domestic reforms.
Ultimately, the government’s drive to boost production undid some reforms. As in World War I, the government aided businesses who produced munitions (giving rise to the military-industrial complex) and outlawed strikes at war facilities with the Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act of 1943. However, the movement to better society was not entirely scrapped; laborers as well as businesses benefited from the increased production that finally ended the Great Depression.
This cartoon was drawn by Theodor
Geisel, a well beloved children’s' cartoonist. He was a strong supporter of defending the US, despite some of his conflicting ideas about expansionism. He is trying to encourage everyone to buy war bonds to help fund World War II. This material was most likely seen in newspapers across America during the war to raise support. Many were willing to buy the war bonds because of the jobs that the war had created, resulting in a desire to support the country that was now supporting the people again. This cartoon depicts Hitler, instead of Germans in general, because his was the face the US decided to march against. In an effort not to condemn the German people for a second time, like in World War I, the government avoided propaganda that pointed blame on anyone but the leader. War bonds and stamps were open to adults and children alike to put help fund the war. They worked out quite conveniently for the government as many forgot about their bonds or lost them so the government didn't have to reimburse everyone. Audiences reacted positively to these cartoons and towards helping to fund the war in the same way they were happy to pay an income tax. Being able to give money to your country showed that you were making money again, and so was a very respectable thing to do. The cartoon emphasizes that by helping to fund the war, you are insuring your own home and country, preventing it from coming to the US. The spread of Hitler into North America was a big fear among Americans as they new that Canada would be his next target and that if they fell, the US was in big trouble. People didn't feel like they were just giving out loans, but protecting their way of life and the principle American value of freedom. This cartoon embodies a lot of what Americans were receptive to during World War II.
This cartoon was created by Dr. Seuss and published on June 12th, 1942. It depicts Uncle Sam with a hedge trimmer, moving toward trimming the “luxurious non-essentials” of “you” (the average citizen). Uncle Sam’s desire is to turn “you” from “birds of paradise into working carrier pigeons”. Upon the cartoon’s release, the United States had already been fighting the Axis for over 6 months, spurred by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. By June 1942, a nationwide ration of any and every everyday item had been established; many luxurious or potentially wasteful actions/events were prohibited in wartime, like the Indianapolis 500 or even leisurely driving (the problem in those cases was not so much oil, but rubber, which prior to World War II had been purchased from the Far East). Items like meats, bicycles, sugar, typewriters, cheese, butter, Nylon, dried fruits and canned milk, and coal were rationed to the nation because they could also be put forth toward the war effort in Europe.
The main idea of this cartoon is that the government wanted to bring the North American populace into “wartime mode” by pruning (if not prohibiting) usage of luxurious items or those deemed “necessary to the war effort”. The large tail feather of “you” represents such luxuries which the American people could not afford to waste time or resources with. The noticeable size difference between “you” and Uncle Sam shows how powerful the government had become during the Second World War. Also, Sam’s quote about moving from “birds of paradise to working pigeon carriers” seems to be a hint at the draft and the wartime workplace. If people aren’t wasting time with unnecessary frivolities, they could spend more time defending their nation, either through construction of wartime goods and utilities or through military service. This cartoon is important because it reveals the steps FDR was taking to ensure positive and successful action in the War, and the limitations the government was willing to impose on its citizenry in order to achieve that goal. Seuss’ primary audience with this cartoon is most likely people already contributing to the war effort, who would see the illustration and chuckle at the truth behind it, or those who have not yet began supporting the nation, who may chuckle as well, but also realize that they should still begin buttressing the war effort at home.
This cartoon was published in PM, a small-circulation newspaper, by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, during the height of the Second World War in 1941. The newspaper for which he drew almost 400 political cartoons during this time period was known for its left-wing opinions and mockery of the isolationist Republicans. Seuss himself was known for his pro-war stance, not to be confused with pro-violence, but rather an avid support of American democracy and encouragement of the American nation to protect its liberty, particularly through Franklin Roosevelt’s war efforts. Some of his cartoons were even controversially discriminatory, such as his stereotyping of the Japanese and Germans (particularly Hitler), but his and the newspaper PM’s primary intention was to encourage American involvement in the war and its aid to Britain and other Allied countries.
At the time when Seuss began producing his anti-isolationist cartoons, the Republican Party (G.O.P.) and the isolationists in Congress still held a strong position and crowd of followers, believing that they could stand back and allow Hitler to conquer the European countries while America remained safe, bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This is the point of view which Seuss mocks in the above cartoon and many others with the image of the “GOPstrich”, the ostrich being a proper representative of the Republican Party’s stance of essentially burying its head in the sand and refusing to recognize the signs that they would soon be involved in the war regardless of isolationist policy. As Seuss demonstrates to his audience, primarily Americans whom he wishes to persuade of the importance of supporting the war overseas, every country but Great Britain at the time had been taken over by Hitler and his supporters, and without America’s aid, Britain itself was likely to fall quickly. Seuss seems to be aiding Roosevelt to espouse a particular point – that the G.O.P. could choose to make excuses and illusions of safety and allow Hitler to take Britain and bring the war to America’s home front, or to involve the country immediately in the war abroad and prevent it from reaching the United States. Much of this type of anti-isolationist material was published during the first years of World War II; however, the Republican Party chose to keep its stance strong and its head stuck in the sand like an ostrich until Pearl Harbor forced them to recognize what Roosevelt, Seuss, and others had been forewarning all along – America was not truly safe between its coasts.
J.R.C. - Text to follow
Popular cartoonist, Dr. Seuss, created this material. During World War Two, Dr. Seuss drew many cartoons and pieces of propaganda for the New York City publication
. This cartoon clearly portrays the idea that Seuss disagrees with the appeasement of Nazi Germany.
was a left publication company, but Dr. Seuss ignored this factor, and still produced material that promoted the initiative toward going to war. This material was produced when Great Britain decided to appease the greedy tendencies of Germany. Due to the timing in which this material was produced, it set a precedent for society’s perspective on Great Britain’s decision. Most readers would have encountered this material in the tabloid produced by
. This material strictly addresses the decision made by Winston Churchill to appease Germany’s drive to acquire more land. Much of the hostile tendencies of Germany were fueled by the brutality of the Treaty of Versailles and upon understanding this, Winston Churchill attempted to remedy his inevitable downfall by allowing Hitler to continue his conquest uncontested. In this cartoon, the appeaser is clearly Winston Churchill, and the various sea serpent heads are Nazi Germany. This material was created for the general population of America, allowing the cartoon to be completely reliable and truthful. Different audiences could easily react differently to this material, denying the point made by Seuss or completely agreeing with it. This material clearly portrays that Seuss disagrees with Churchill’s decision. The point this cartoon makes is that the Germany wont stop with the conquer of only one nation; rather the entire continent. This material is important, because it epitomized the contradicting idea many people had against Churchill’s decision during this time.
Because of the fame of Dr. Seuss’s children's books his political cartoon have remained largely unknown . During the years 1941 to 1943 Dr. Seuss was the chief editorial cartoonist for the left-winged New York newspaper PM, and for that journal Dr. Seuss drew over 400 political cartoons. Generally speaking Dr. Seuss’s cartoons (and writings) reflect his beliefs in fighting for the environment, condemning isolationism, riducling the arms race, and working for literacy. Published on September 1, 1942 Suess depicts a seemingly patriotic man holding an American flag with the caption ‘Me? I’d give my life for my country!’ The man’s suit and dapper attire illustrate his economic status in society, implying the man could afford to pay a significant amount for war bonds to aid his country. During World War II the United States issued war bonds when full employment collided with rationing, and War Bonds were seen as a way to remove money from circulation as well as reduce inflation. Known as debt securities for the purpose of financing military operations during war time, the bonds yielded a mere 2.9 percent return after a 10 year maturity. First called Defense Bonds the name was changed to War Bonds after the Japanese attack on Peal Harbor, Decemeber 7, 1941. In the corner of Dr. Seuss’s cartoon we see two cats with the scarcastic caption ‘yeah…but 10% of his income for War Bonds…that’s a different matter.” The cats scarcasm towards the man ready to give his life for his country is illustrated the fact that he was unwilling to give his income to aid his country. Seuss’s cartoon also reflect the irony in the welathy man unwillling to buy war bonds when during World War II the median income earning was about $2,000 a year; despite the war’s hardships, 134 million Americans (significantly less welathy than the economic class illustrated) were asked to purchase war bonds ($18.75 a bond) to help fund the war.
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