Sample Media Worksheet. Manpower

Observation

1. Who or what company produced the video?

The Office of War Information, U.S. Federal Government

2. How would you classify this video? (Ex. Documentary, propaganda, theatrical, training, entertainment?)

Propaganda.

Expression

3. What is the intended meaning or goal of the video?

This video really has three crucial messages. The first is that everyone is needed in some way for the war effort. The result of this is that the unemployment that characterized the depression of the 1930's is no longer a problem - everyone can find a job. The second part is that African Americans are able to go to school and be trained in these skills. Lastly, the video shows how vital women are to the war effort, and that their skills are greatly needed in many factories. The overall impression is that everyone who is not a soldier needs to still contribute to the war, and this can be achieved through working for the war industries.

4. Does the video communicate its message effectively?

This video is very effective at showing that anyone can work for these war industry factories. One of the areas where it succeeds the best is in the section regarding women. Here the video goes to great lengths to show that 1) women will be trained through schools so they can do these jobs, 2) once trained, if they do not have enough strength for some of the positions, alterations can be made with the machinery to benefit their lesser strength, and 3) even with children to care for it is possible to go to work in factory due to the providing of day care.

Also this film does an admirable job of inspiring the viewer to take part in the war. It effectively shows that anyone can be trained to do these jobs (especially minorities.) What is also a by-product of this is the sense of patriotism and pride it attempts to instill in the viewer. If a man cannot join the service for physical reasons, here he is shown to still be an integral and important part of the war effort. Women as well are shown to be vital. In this way the video encourages the viewer to feel as though whatever they contribute it is as important as the military service.

Connection

5. What does this video tell you about life in the United States at the time of its production?

There are several things that this video reveals about U.S. life during World War II. The first thing that the viewer becomes aware of is that prior to the war, unemployment was a problem in the U.S. This video shows great pride in the fact that unemployment is unheard of at this point because everyone who wants a job can find one within the war industries. It also shows how dedicated the government was in mobilizing the American people to contribute as much as they could to the war effort. Another facet of this is shown when the video discusses industries that are not necessarily vital. A shopkeeper is encouraged to sell his shop in order to work for a factory. Thus a higher priority is placed on jobs that help contribute to the war in some fashion and everything else is seen as secondary, if not superfluous.

From the emphasis placed on the African American and female populations of the country the viewer can discern that this is a new trend; that women and African Americans have never before been integrated into the work force at this level.