Will this picture help win the war? A textual thematic analysis of recruiting themes in Guadalcanal Diary

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Authors
Dodds, Cori Lyn
Advisors
Dooley, Patricia L.
Issue Date
2006-05
Type
Thesis
Keywords
Guadalcanal Diary (Motion picture)
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Abstract

This study is a textual thematic analysis that sought to identify recruiting themes embedded in a World War II combat film, Guadalcanal Diary (1943). The film was chosen on the basis of its representative ness of the combat films of the era. The study was completed through a deconstruction of the film, identifying scenes that contained either manifest or latent, recruiting appeals. The appeals were those Padilla and Laner’s 2001 study identified as the predominant themes used in 1942 recruiting posters. Additionally, the study examined the film using Carey’s (1989) theory of a ritual view of communication, a view that focuses on the role of communication acts in the maintenance of society over time. An historical context addressing the relationship between the federal government and Hollywood, and the Selective Service, voluntary enlistments and the armed forces, is included for clarification purposes. The film was found to exhibit both manifest and latent references to the four recruiting themes, which included a gain in status, recognition of patriotic behavior, adventure and challenge, and traditions and honor of the military. Further research is indicated in the areas of feature films and embedded recruiting messages, other forms of popular media during the war and recruiting messages, and the relationship between the draft and voluntary enlistments during war eras.

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Description
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"May 2006."
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 77-83)
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