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Vietnam war, representation work. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy and objectivity of the representations, before I establish which is most reliable regarding the reaction of the American public to presence of US forces in Vietnam.

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Introduction

Choose the one which you think is the best Representation of the way in which people in the USA reacted to the Vietnam War. Explain your choice. It is clear as the Vietnam War went on that a divergence in public opinion began to emerge, as more and more people doubted the US's cause in Vietnam. A survey questioning the public's opinion on whether the US government had made the right decision to take action in Vietnam (taken from the digital history website) shows that on August 1965 only 39 per cent of the US public doubted the US's cause, comparable to the 72 per cent in May 1971. These statistics show the rapid decline of the support for the American army. Several incidents which induced worldwide antagonism include the My Lai Massacre and the Tet Offensive which could have had some effect on the US public's morale, thus causing intensifying doubt. It is clear that each of the following sources impart different depictions of the American army; however all provide us with seemingly pessimistic insights regarding the US's immersion in Vietnam. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy and objectivity of the representations, before I establish which is most reliable regarding the reaction of the American public to presence of US forces in Vietnam. ...read more.

Middle

What makes this Representation useful is that it indicates the widespread concern that was being shown across US society in 1972 when the poster was created, the fact that it is also similar to other anti-war posters that were being made at the time corroborates the posters accuracy. This representation gives us a clear insight into the emotions felt by the "Committee to Help Unsell the War" and the presentational techniques it used to portray messages to its audience effectively. However limitations of this Source include its lack of factual information and the fact that it was created by a small minority of the US population at the time which means the opinion expressed in this poster does not mirror the majority of the rest of US society. Another limitation is that fact that is represents one date in the period of 1959-75 during the US'S immersion in Vietnam which radically limits its coverage as the public's opinion changed as war advanced. Although this gives an interesting insight into how an anti-war group worked I personally think this is the weakest of the 3 representations due to its date limitations, lack of factual information and the fact that it only brings across a small cross-section of the US publics opinion across. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also tells the audience why the American public turned against the War, for example "People were particularly upset by the use of e chemical weapons such as napalm and 'agent orange' and "The US armed forces were also guilty of torturing captured prisoners" and "They considered it was an attack of people's rights". This makes this Representation much more reliable in comparison to the other 2 representations as they fail to give us an informed reason to tell us why they as a group are against the War. Overall I think that Representation 2 is clearly the best to inform us of the reasons why the public turned against the War and how the US public protested to show their judgement and most of all how public opinion and morale changed as War continued. It is not based on opinion and no emotive opinion can be interpreted through it. Representation 2 is simply an investigation based on facts and statistics. It also does not try to swerve our own opinion as the other 2 representations try to do. It displays both positive and negative opinions regarding the Vietnam War e.g. "A survey of public opinion showed that a narrow majority of the people still supported US involvement in Vietnam". This shows that the Representation is unbiased which in turn makes it much more reliable than the other two representations. By Eva Mathew ...read more.

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