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Wonder Woman and World War Ii

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World War II began in the September of 1939; two days after Hitler’s invasion of Poland. It lasted for six years and many dangerous events had arisen throughout the time of the war. It was originally fought between the axis powers and the allied forces. Axis powers being consisted of Germany, Japan and Italy. While allied forces were Great Britain and France. It wasn’t until Japan bomber Pearl Harbor that the US entered the war alongside the allied forces. Europe did not see peace until the allied surrounded Berlin and Hitler killed himself. Meanwhile, the pacific did not see peace until President Truman dropped little boy and fat man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Three examples of World War II propaganda in the Wonder Woman comics are savings bond and stamps, women’s roles, and American patriotism.

One example of WWII propaganda in the Wonder Woman comics are savings bond and stamps. According to Yolander Prinzel, they are “a way for the government to raise money for debt by promising to pay back principal and interest to bondholders at a later date” (Prinzel). By purchasing Savings Bonds, the government would then use that money to fund for World War II. In fact, Tim Lemke states “During World War II, Americans purchased $185.7 billion in war bond” (Lemke). In the comic book, Wonder Woman at a variety of locations, asked the crowds to purchase war bonds. Wonder Woman was saying “Buy war bonds and help America banish war forever” (Marston 269). She was pleading them to buy them because it would help them fight against Hitler. Another time she stated, “Do your part- buy war bonds… and lead the world to freedom” (Marston 290). At this point, she was asking them to buy them because it would help beat the war lords. With having this comic book during the war, they were using it to promote their war bonds and get more Americans to purchase them.

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Another example of World War II propaganda in the Wonder Woman comics were the women’s roles. Prior to the war, many women were homemakers, and there was a minority of women who worked outside of home. However, when the war hit the United States things had changed. Women who had once worked as secretaries and hospital nurses started to work new jobs. Annette McDermott explains, “men went off to war by the millions and women stepped into the civilian and military jobs they left behind” (McDermott). This switch of women’s roles also is showed in the comic book. At one part, the husband of the real Diana Prince chained down Wonder Woman trying to keep her “wife” from working. He exclaims “you won’t get any job- I’ll fix that… I’m going to chain you like this every time I go out” (Marston 133). Since the man was the dominant one, many husbands did not like the idea of their wife working. No matter how poor they became, husbands did not want to be humiliated because he couldn’t provide. In the comic book, there are a group of women who also stood up during the time of the war. These girls were from Holiday College and whenever Wonder Woman called for their assistance, they were always ready. Etta Candy, who is the leader of the girls, once says “Come on gang! What are we waiting for” (Marston 53)? This is when Wonder Woman was calling Etta and the girls, to meet a train from Washington in order to save Steve Trevor.

American patriotism is also an example of World War II propaganda in the Wonder Woman comics. During the war, a lot of people would show their American patriotism by making different posters to support the fight. There were women rights posters as well as adapted Uncle Sam posters, willing men and women to join the fight and/or to support the war. They included the American Flag a lot in these posters, Uncle Sam even wearing them. According to Yvonne French, Uncle Sam makes people think “What does he want? He’s calling us for some sort of action” (French). He was made to symbolize freedom and democracy in the American world that was in the risk of losing it all. Wonder Woman was the comic’s people’s “Uncle Sam”. Her outfit consisted of the American Flag and she only wore its colors as Wonder Woman. Tim Hanley explains that Wonder Woman wore a “star-spangled outfit so that she would be recognized as a friend of America” (14). They did not want the American people to fear her, they wanted her to be a role model for them. Someone they could look up to and believe would help lead them not only through the war, but to overall freedom. Women were starting to stand up for their democratic rights and Wonder Woman was a perfect way to motivate them.

In conclusion, these examples provided prove the fact that there was World War II propaganda in the Wonder Woman comics.  


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