World War I Photograph
Directions: Examine the photograph, source information, and background information to answer the questions below.
Joan of Arc Saved France. Women of America, Save Your Country--Buy War Savings Stamps
Haskell Coffin was an American artist known for his portrayals of women in popular weekly and monthly magazines during the first half of the 20th century. This poster was created towards the end of World War I, after the United States officially entered the war on the allied side.
Title: Joan of Arc Saved France. Women of America, Save Your Country--Buy War Savings Stamps
Date Created/Published: 1918
Artist: Haskell Coffin
Question 1: Would the artist of this poster approve of America's entry into the war, or would he have favored a continued policy of isolationism?
Approved America's Entry into WWI
Favored Policy of Isolationism
Neither Supported or Opposed America's Entry into WWI
Question 2: What does Coffin's choice to include imagery of Joan of Arc suggest about his views of woman's role in war?
Question 3: What does this poster communicate about the idea of "Total War"?
These questions ask the student to engage in sourcing, contextualization, and close reading. Students must use their historical thinking abilities to come to a conclusion regarding the intentions of the artist and the changing nature of the time period.
Question 1: I would expect most students to conclude that the Coffin would approve of America's entry into the war, as he is conveying in his work a romanticized figure of war (in Joan of Arc) and how women can help the war effort through the purchasing of war savings stamps.
Question 2: Just by looking at the image, I would imagine he'd see woman's role in warfare as a front line soldier, but when contextualized and remembering the expectations society had for woman in the era, I would think that he just expects women to be a part of the war, not fighting in the war.
Question 3: Never before had society been so involved in war on such a global stage. I would expect a student answering this question to recognize that women were beginning to have an increasingly larger role in war, and society as a whole as well.
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