The "German" and "Nazi" In Chaplin's the Great Dictator, Capra's the Nazis Strike and Hitchcock's Lifeboat

by Ellis, Erin Jean

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to examine the portrayal of the World War Two “Nazi” figure and the World War Two “German” figure as portrayed in Chaplin's The Great Dictator, Capra's The Nazis Strike, and Hitchcock's Lifeboat. Research of each figure's portrayal in media through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century revealed that “Germans” possess strength, are portrayed as the non-enemy, are focused, and are able to solve problems. In contrast the “Nazi” is barbaric, militaristic, villainous, the enemy, and uses vile brutality to fulfill the mission of the war. By examining the three films I determined that although each film is of a different genre and year, each director similarly portrays the “German” characteristics and “Nazi” characteristics through different aspects of propaganda including the polarization of the enemy, a call for action and the American victory. In addition to the portrayal of the “German” and “Nazi” figures through propaganda techniques, I illustrated how each director uses interactions of other figures with these characters to show the differences between the “German” and “Nazi.” Finally I offered suggestions for additional research on images of the enemy that would further extend the concepts analyzed in this thesis.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:characteristics german nazi propaganda polarization of the enemy call for action chaplin great dictator capra nazis strike hitchcock lifeboat world war two


Date of Publication:05/27/2009

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