The Bolshevik Poster Essay Research Paper The

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The Bolshevik Poster Essay, Research Paper The Bolshevik poster, a lithograph (105 x 71cm’s) published in 1918 as Bolshevik propaganda, portrays Bolshevism as a wonderful thing. A detailed poster, mostly graphical but with a small inclusion of text, it shows us what the Bolsheviks wanted the Russian people to believe through the use of symbolism. It is propaganda, defined as ’systematic efforts to spread opinions or beliefs’1. This poster certainly fits into this category. Present in this picture are the symbols of Tsardom, the eagle, robe and crown, trampled and crushed by the common people. The Bolsheviks make no claims of crushing Tsardom in this poster as they were in exile and away from Russia at the time of Nicholas’ abdication. Instead, the Bolsheviks chose to

visually give the common people acknowledgment for ending the Tsars reign of autocracy. The presence of an abundance of red, in these wreaths, ribbons and curtains, is used to show the way Bolshevism surrounds, protects and perhaps even embraces the Russian people. The broken chains in the foreground symbolise Bolshevism as being the long awaited release from the bounds and imprisonment of Tsarism and Autocracy that the Russian people wanted. Perhaps the central point, and the most important of this picture, is the setting. Two men appear in the foreground, a worker and a peasant, guarding the way to Bolshevism and a better way of life in what seems to be a welcoming manner. Behind these men, through the arch, is seen the image of freshly harvested fields, a healthy industry

spewing forth attractive, encouraging smoke in shades of pink and purple. In reality, industry at this time was poor. The production of coal had dropped from 29.0 million tonnes in 1913 to just 8.9 million, iron from 4.2 million tonnes to 0.1 million, steel from 4.2 million tonnes to just 0.2 million and electricity from 1945 million kWh to just 520 million making this representation unreliable and far from the truth. The people stand in the warmth and comfort of a rising sun, the dawning of a new day, and appear happy. Even a young couple, standing at the entrance to the arch, are present, holding up their baby so that it too can see the new world. The worker and peasant appear happy. Their inclusion is an unreliable piece of evidence as such people were not used by the

Bolsheviks as tools for changing Russia. It was the Soviets, made up of the middle class workers, soldiers and sailors, that Lenin and his party used to create revolution and seize Russia. The inclusion of the peasant and the worker is an attempt to gain support from the lower class. The lower class was targeted by the Bolsheviks for support as they were a discontented people who could no longer tolerate civil war. The war was Russia’s reaction to the treaty of Brest-Litovsk – a treaty signed by the Bolsheviks and Germany surrendering Russia. This move met with much criticism from the other political parties in Russia and civil war ensued. This war was Red against White – the Bolsheviks, now Communists, against all other political parties in Russia. Through their promise to

win the war, a function of this poster, the Bolsheviks gained support. A victory is suggested as the poster represents a new Communist world as well as the future. This is untrue and an unreliable piece of evidence as it is know that instead of winning the war, the Bolsheviks, on behalf of Russia, conceded defeat. The support was clearly gained as demonstrated by the results of the 1917 election in which the Bolsheviks polled nine million votes and the Social Revolutionaries, only twenty one. The peasant bears a sythe and the worker a hammer, both symbols adorning the Russian flag, as a symbol of unity between the people. They lean against these tools symbolising what it is that supports Russia and holds it up as a country – a healthy industry and productive agriculture. The