Graphic Interlude: Creating the Enemy

Par Anonymous artist, Dr. Seuss, Rick Smolan et David Cohen
Publication en ligne le 20 décembre 2019


This graphic interlude features pictures illustrating this issue’s topic: creating the enemy.

Cet interlude graphique est composé d’images qui illustrent le thème de ce numéro : la mer comme symbole, métaphore et unité d’analyse.


Texte intégral

Figure 1. George Cruickshank, The Radical’s Arms (1819) (source:

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1The Radical’s Arms by English caricaturist George Cruickshank is a good example of British counter-revolutionary propaganda stereotyping the French after 1789, with the guillotine a symbol of terror and anarchy.

Figure 2. Sir John Tenniel, A Lesson (1879) (source:

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2Sir John Tenniel's “A Lesson” (1879), published in Punch, may be subverting the enemy image. While the Zulu warrior appears as primitive and uncivilized as can be expected for the time, that he schools an Englishman, by writing in English no less, suggests “savages” should not be underestimated.

Figure 3. Dr. Seuss, What have you done today to help save your country from them? 1942.  Source:

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3Children's author Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss, worked as an editorial cartoonist for the paper PM from 1941 to 1943. His work reflects a fundamental difference in American propaganda during World War II: Hitler and Nazism were the enemy rather than the German people whereas the Japanese as a whole were very much portrayed through racist tropes.

Figure 4. Cover of Time magazine, 26 October 1987, Vol. 130, No. 17. Source:,9263,7601871026,00.html

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4In October 1987, Time published a series of photographs collected by journalist Rick Smolan and editor David Cohen. Despite Lenin's portrait being somewhat reminiscent of Big Brother’s in 1984, this cover really subverts the enemy image of the Soviets during the Cold War. Instead of soldiers, the Soviets are represented by three little girls in white dresses, a symbol of innocence and purity. The photograph suggests that the enemy isn’t the Soviet people, but the Soviet system; such a distinction heralds the end of the Cold War.

Figure 5. Sinchon Massacre, Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities, North Korea. Source:

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5The Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities in North Korea presents numerous exhibits seeking to expose the barbarity of American soldiers during the Korean War. This painting is a particularly good example of the male enemy brutalizing a powerless female.

Figure 6. Real threats.

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6From the far-right website Breitbart, the section “real threats” uses a stereotypical image of the Muslim terrorist. Breitbart regularly mocks Islam as a fake “religion of peace” to convey the idea that all Muslims are dangerous for Western civilization.

Pour citer ce document

Par Anonymous artist, Dr. Seuss, Rick Smolan et David Cohen, «Graphic Interlude: Creating the Enemy», Angles: New Perspectives on the Anglophone World [En ligne], Creating the Enemy, The journal, Creating the Enemy, mis à jour le : 22/03/2020, URL :