Representation 1 evidently was produced to discourage people from joining the army. It exudes a death -like demeanour, as a skeleton is being portrayed as Uncle Sam, it mimics the iconic original poster of Uncle Sam, albeit in an antagonistic manner. The very statement “I want you” seems like an unpleasant and unjustified demand and depicts that joining the Vietnam War would lead to a futile death. It portrays the eventual inevitability of dying if you take part in the Vietnam War.
It seems obvious from this poster that at the stage when the poster was created that many Americans no longer supported the war and as the above writing states were trying to “unsell the war”. Representation 2 seems like it was made merely to inform – an investigation into the protests against the Vietnam War. It explains and states statistics and facts but no emotion or justification is behind these.
Similarities include the negative depictions of the American army’s involvement in the Vietnam War – in representation 1 it is portrayed visually. In representation 2 it is depicted verbally “The American soldiers committed atrocities that are comparable to what has been committed by the Nazis”. However in representation 2 the source is unbiased and one-sided, contrasting with the other source which was specifically made to “unsell” the war. They both also provide us with insights regarding the US’s involvement into the Vietnam War.
Differences include the format of each representation – one is in the format of a poster, the other in the form of written literature. I think the makers behind the poster chose this form as it is visually striking and brings the message across more effectively than a leaflet of facts. I think the author of representation 2, John Simpkin wrote his investigation as paragraphed analysis as it was the simplest way to list information and statistics.
The representations were obviously created for contrasting reasons, one to disclose information, the other to discourage further people from participating in the War. Overall I think the sources are more different than similar. Although both noticeably give off negative depictions of the US army’s role in the Vietnam War, which is interpreted through the quotes such as “US armed forces were also found guilty of torturing captured prisoners and innocent civilians” and the decaying skeleton in representation 1 I think the similarities end there.
Representation 1 seems solidly against the Vietnam War whereas Representation 2 seems to note some small positive attributes regarding support of the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War “When the Vietnam War started only a small percentage of the American population opposed the War” and “A narrow majority of the people still supported US involvement in Vietnam”. This probably goes to show that the government’s propaganda was greater than any other propaganda put out to influence the American people. They had the financial resources to affect public opinion more than any other advertising body to put out whatever “facts “they chose to.
Another difference to take into account is when each source was written – Source 1 was created when the USA was still thick into the action and it was slowly becoming clear that the Americans were fighting a losing war. Source 2 was written when the Vietnam War had ended and the whole incident and its aftermath could be analysed. However I think the sole difference of each is the intent of each source. One is a completely unbiased piece of written literature reporting reactions to the Vietnam War, the other an invitation to a seemingly unavoidable demise, illustrating the horrors of the Vietnam War.