Vietnam War Analysis Essay Example
Vietnam War Analysis Essay Example

Vietnam War Analysis Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1073 words)
  • Published: August 29, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Vietnam was the initial television war, with images of death, combat, camaraderie, and conflict being transmitted to millions of home viewers. These visuals likely significantly influenced people's perspectives on the war, which I also believe. The extensive viewership of television meant that more individuals were affected by it compared to newspapers, magazines, or radio. Some argue that television did not have as much influence as radio since radio stimulates different parts of the brain and enhances memory retention. However, radio lacks visual elements, making it harder to comprehend and remember. On the other hand, some claim that letters from loved ones had a stronger impact in altering people's viewpoints. This is because receiving a letter from someone you deeply care for can potentially change your outlook based on their experiences. Nonetheless, not everyone had someone they knew personally fighting in Vietnamn, so receiving


such letters was not widespread.

Television's visual power is both clear and easy to understand, making it highly effective. However, some television images have incited negative reactions from the general public. For instance, when the Americans dropped Napalm onto the forests of Vietnam, heart-wrenching footage captured young Vietnamese children and women fleeing their towns in despair, their skin burned and hanging off. These distressing images deeply affected many American citizens who saw the innocence of these children and believed they had done nothing wrong. Unlike newspaper articles, magazine articles, or radio advertisements, television brings real-life events directly to viewers, allowing them to form their own conclusions instead of being influenced by others' opinions. The public appreciated the firsthand evidence provided by television. Nevertheless, our Vietnam working booklet reveals that certain television films an

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clips were deliberately withheld by the authorities.

The US government sought to prevent the American public from opposing the Vietnam War by withholding information and providing televised statements explaining the war's rationale. Additionally, various media forms such as magazines, newspapers, radio, cartoons, books, and songs heavily influenced public opinion. Books about Vietnam like Sources A, C, D, and E indicate a multitude of publications on the topic. Source A carries significant weight due to its author being a US senator with influential power among the American people.

This source functions as propaganda, using biased content to manipulate the American people's voting decisions regarding communism and rallying support for "saving" Vietnam from communist influence. Both sources C and D are excerpts from a book penned by Philip Caputo, a Vietnam veteran, which carries emotional weight due to its personal narrative. Many individuals are impacted by and sympathize with those who have endured suffering and mistreatment in their lives. Magazines, newspapers, writings, books, and letters all serve as influential sources of information that have historically shaped public opinion. Prior to this war, they constituted the primary means of accessing information. Magazines hold particular sway as they not only entertain but also inform while generating profits; it is their intended purpose to shape public sentiment.

Magazines are often more beneficial than television because they are accessible to everyone, unlike televisions which not everyone possesses. Nevertheless, some magazines can be biased and contain the preconceived opinions of individuals. For instance, source G may have distorted facts to sway public opinion in favor of the American government. Moreover, magazines frequently include cartoons that are effective in both entertaining and conveying a specific message.

Cartoons have a greater ability to capture attention compared to lengthy written articles.

Source L highlights the influential power of cartoons, which is attributed to their humorous nature. Cartoons are effective in conveying a clear message and perspective. The cartoon illustrated in Source L imparts several lessons, including the notion that despite American endeavors to influence the Vietnamese, they are incompatible with a capitalist lifestyle. Moreover, it portrays America as a businessperson endeavoring to sell unwanted goods. However, one drawback of cartoons is that their depth necessitates viewers to possess education and preexisting opinions, thus limiting their ability to alter perspectives during the Vietnam War. Conversely, radio holds significant sway as it serves as an invaluable medium for disseminating information and triggering memory.

People often underestimate the impact of radio on their memory because they typically listen to it while multitasking. However, this means that their attention is divided between the radio and another task. Country Joe's song in Source K exemplifies how sarcasm mixed with catchiness makes it easy for listeners to remember. Similar to television, radios effectively convey information and opinions that can shape Americans' viewpoints. Nonetheless, I believe that this medium has more drawbacks due to its lack of visual content. Unlike television, which provides easily comprehensible and current visuals, radio falls short in this aspect. All these media platforms significantly influenced people's opinions and provided influential information regarding the war, encompassing personal stories, statistics, tactics, and general accounts.

The media had an impact on everyone in some manner. However, I believe that television had the greatest influence, especially during the Vietnam War, as traditional forms of media played a less significant role. The emergence

of television provided people with quicker and more reliable information compared to magazines and radio. It allowed individuals to witness events directly, a new experience for many. Additionally, public opinion in the United States was influenced and altered by the human cost of war, referring to the loss of lives among soldiers. This stirred frustration among Americans when they witnessed their fellow countrymen dying. As the number of US troop fatalities increased and remained consistently high, the war grew increasingly unpopular.

Television played a crucial role in shaping the opinions of Americans during the Vietnam War, surpassing all other factors. The emotional impact was significant as people saw their loved ones dying, thus affecting them deeply. Additionally, the war's economic cost had profound effects on individuals and society as a whole. Inflation caused by the war's expenses became a more pressing concern than the conflict itself, burdening Americans with higher prices for goods. Consequently, negative sentiments towards the war grew among the public due to this financial strain. Despite considering various influential factors, television remained the most important in molding and altering people's attitudes towards the war. It provided essential information that influenced public opinion.

By far the most efficient, clearest, and understandable means of delivering visual images and news to the public was through the use of this method. It had a much greater influence compared to slower media methods.

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