Presentation on theme: "Dr. Seuss and World War II A topic for Me, a story for YOU!!! Dapper looking man right here."— Presentation transcript:
Dr. Seuss and World War II A topic for Me, a story for YOU!!! Dapper looking man right here
Research Question What were the overlying themes and factors that attributed to Theodore “Seuss” Geisel’s campaign of political cartoons during World War II? What was his take on Nazi Germany and the Japanese? (Racism?) How would it affect his later works?
Dr. Seuss believed that isolationism left the U.S. vulnerable. He sent this cartoon to PM Newspaper, starting his campaign of over 400 cartoons between April of 1941 and January of 1943. “While Paris was being occupied by the clanking tanks of the Nazis, I found I could no longer keep my mind on drawing pictures of Horton the elephant instead of Lindbergh the ostrich.”~ Dr. Seuss Fear of American Isolationism First WWII Cartoon
Credo: “We’re against people who push other people around” Dr. Seuss agrees, and willingly joins in the campaign to rouse America to go to war. He uses a blunt approach in his PM works, and targets both Fascism abroad, and sympathizers on the home front. PM Newspaper Bird in a Blitz Attack on American Isolationism
Bold attacks on Isolationists and Anti-Semites American Isolationists depicted as ostriches. Senator Gerald P. Nye- “stay out of the war” Gerald L.K. Smith- Pro-fascist Dr. Seuss challenges his audience to think or act, and sometimes labels elements of his cartoons as ‘YOU’ This method of delivery provoked the readers response. Sword pointed at the hand of the reader Senator as Horse’s Ass
The Roots of Sneetches Sept. 22, 1941 Cartoon Depicts the anti-Semitic action of public figures like Senator Nye and Lindbergh Reflects the treatment of Jews in America during WWII Lindbergh and Nye as the Sheriffs This bird character was the inspiration
Direct attacks on Fascist leaders, but sympathy towards the people. This was not the same with the Japanese (initially). Condemns anti-Semitism, but draws a cartoon to justify Japanese Internment Totalitarian Germany and Japan
Later Sympathies for the Japanese Film titled ‘Design for Death” that depicts Japanese as “victims of seven centuries of class dictatorship”. Won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1948
In a deep dissection of Horton Hears a Who!, Minear suggests that the ‘Who’s’ represent a nation of people in the face of total annihilation. Horton (U.S.) holds their fate in his hands. Dr. Seuss believed that race was a key decision in America’s choice to drop the bomb. Richard Minear on Horton …I’m bigger than they!” “I’ve got to protect them…
Enlisted in the Army Signal Corps. Made posters for the War Production Board and Treasury Department. Became a Captain in the Army’s Information and Education Division. Toured in Europe in Dec 1944, and was stuck behind enemy lines in the Battle of the Bulge for three days. He witnessed “enough horror to condemn the Nazi system forever.” Dr. Seuss Goes to War
Conclusions & Findings Dr. Seuss was direct and passionate about his opinions on American Isolationism, and was not afraid to confront the American people in his cartoons, as well as elected officials and celebrities. Although his cartoons tended to cross some lines that many would deem too brash or offensive, his methods achieved the desired affect and helped get America involved in the war. His initial portrayal of the Japanese can be interpreted as racist, but his opinions develop later by placing the fate of Japan on America’s shoulders.
His writing and illustration style evolved into something more than what the average reader would expect. He provoked his reader through his cartoons, and he would ask his reader to think in his books His focus on children’s books is a result of his personal goal to prepare children for the horrid and despicable things that humans are capable of. Findings Cont’d Adorable