Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Following the context of practice seminar today with Richard, we were asked to write a critical analysis of 2 images, one from 1876 and the other from 1915.

The images we were given to analyze are ‘The Uncle Sam Range’ (1876) Advertising Image by Schumacher and Ettlinger and a unnamed propaganda poster by Steve Lumley (1915).

Both of these images are powerful, bold and advertise in a persuasive, influential way due to imagery, tone of voice and their intended audience.

The first image by Schumacher and Ettlinger, advertises ‘The Uncle Sam Range’ cooker, and is directed at middle class male American’s, as like in 1915 also with Lumley’s work, men are the dominant figures of any house hold. 100 years after America gained independence (1776-1876) Uncle Sam is in the center of the image, exuding dominance and power, while the presence of the father in Lumley’s work is domineering in a harsh.  In the American poster details such as the dates in a clock and a list of countries and food, which could of helped build and shape America at that time. The main purpose of this poster which is to sell his cooking range, even though the image has been pushed aside, and doesn’t advertise very clearly and give all the information necessary, unlike the British poster which is simple and to the point.

The propaganda poster from 1915 boasts ‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?’ The way ‘YOU’ is used in this piece of propaganda is a rhetorical question in itself for the father who is looking into the future during the war and contemplating. This also poses a little bit of guilt and force, making it seem as a bad thing personally due to the context, caption and image, if you didn’t volunteer. You can see it has been taken from the Lord Kitchener propaganda posters for the First World War.

Aside from this, the contrast between American and British patriotism differs drastically. The American poster featuring ‘Uncle Sam’ whose initials is U.S. is a common nation wide recognized personification of the American Government. This is why there is a sense of racism and slavery, with a different race working class boy working as a cook for his self and his middle class family. Hence why the picture is heavy filled with ‘stars and stripes’.  Everything from the curtains to Uncle Sam’s attire donned the American flag. However, in the British poster, it is not as apparent where the patriotism is at first glance. On the chair the father is sitting on with his daughter has Fleur de Lis pattern’s on the textiles, showing royalty, and the curtains feature red roses in the background, showing the British symbol. The poster shows blue, red and white, the traditional colours of Britain, and even the toy soldiers are wearing the traditional red coats and black hats again showing power.

The little boy playing with the soldier’s gives a more light hearted approach to the war, portraying it as a game, whilst the little girl may be asking questions to her father about it. It gives you an impression of what life may be like after the war, persuading men to join and also to give the to be soldier a slight hope or aspiration of what life could be like after the war, with a family. Whilst the American poster, shows what life can be like when East, West and New England come together, showing unity as one.