In this assignment, you’ll write a five-paragraph persuasive essay. Your persuasive technique should be direct, with obvious logic and reasoning. Whether the essay appeals to emotion or to intellect is up to you; however, you will need to use quotations from a source to support your ideas. You must choose a side and support it fully. You may discuss differing opinions, but you must not waver between the two sides. Show the faults of the opposite opinion, and give sound reasoning to support your argument. Review the Essay Structure instructions in Section 8 of this course for information about organizing a five-paragraph essay. Be sure to develop a clear, strong thesis statement. Choose one of the following topics: Should propaganda posters and messages such as the ones on pages 1162-1163 of your textbook be used during times of war? Why or why not? Quote from the posters and/or the textbook explanations about the posters. Is Virginia Woolf correct in her depiction of women during the 16th century in “A Room of One’s Own”? Could women have overcome the social barriers of that time? Why or why not? Quote from “A Room of One’s Own” as you either defend or argue against Woolf’s opinion. In the narrative “Shooting an Elephant,” was Orwell justified in killing the elephant? Should he have shot the animal or walked away? Why or why not? Quote from “Shooting an Elephant” as you defend your argument.
Propaganda messages and posters have been used for centuries to persuade people to support a particular cause or to instill fear of an enemy. While some argue that propaganda should be used during times of war to unite a nation and galvanize its citizens to fight, others believe that such messages are unethical and can lead to disastrous consequences. I believe that propaganda should not be used during times of war because it can lead to negative consequences, such as the promotion of false information, the incitement of hatred and prejudice, and the justification of immoral actions.
Firstly, propaganda posters and messages often promote false information. These messages may twist the truth, exaggerate facts, or even outright lie in order to sway people to support the cause. For example, the Nazi regime used propaganda to justify their actions during World War II, portraying Jews and other minority groups as inferior and dangerous, and promoting the idea of Aryan supremacy. This led to the persecution of millions of innocent people, and the world still bears the scars of this tragedy. Therefore, propaganda should not be used during times of war, as it can easily lead to the promotion of false and damaging information.
Secondly, propaganda can incite hatred and prejudice. Messages that dehumanize the enemy, portray them as monsters or sub-humans, or demonize their beliefs and culture can cause a dangerous wave of hatred and intolerance. This can lead to violence, discrimination, and even genocide, as we have seen in history. For example, during the Rwandan genocide, propaganda messages were used to dehumanize the Tutsi minority, leading to the massacre of over 800,000 people. Therefore, using propaganda during times of war can have catastrophic consequences.
Finally, propaganda can be used to justify immoral actions. When people are convinced that the enemy is evil, they may be more likely to accept actions that would normally be considered immoral or illegal. For example, the use of torture, the killing of civilians, and the destruction of cultural heritage sites may be justified if they are seen as necessary to defeat the enemy. However, such actions can have long-lasting negative consequences, not only for the victims but also for the moral fabric of society. Therefore, propaganda should not be used to justify immoral actions during times of war.
In conclusion, propaganda messages and posters should not be used during times of war, as they can lead to negative consequences such as the promotion of false information, the incitement of hatred and prejudice, and the justification of immoral actions. Instead, nations should focus on honest communication and education, and promote a culture of peace, tolerance, and mutual respect. As the famous quote by Abraham Lincoln goes, “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Let us strive to remember this wisdom during times of war, and work towards a better, more just world.