Courseworks

Women During The Second World War

The thrust of source A, the message to women was that the war was being waged to protect all the things that they held dear. It makes the point that traditionally women were at the heart of the home and family. However in order to protect this ethos it is inferred that, every woman in the country must be prepared to make sacrifices in order to keep them. The source says “all those little things that are so important in every woman’s life” which at that times implied home and family; the broadcast far from denigrating these values said “treasure them and cling to them” the broadcast went on to say that the war was being waged to protect these values, our freedom and future.The broadcast indicates that whilst the men of the country were at the front prosecuting the war in order to support them every woman must sacrifice their comfortable existence to have the home and take over jobs which had been vacated by the men at the front; the broadcast emphasised that “we are all in it together” and in order to succeed and protect all, that both men and women held dear they must be prepared to “fight for them” men by taking up arms and women by changing roles and keeping, agriculture, transport and industry going; providing support morally, through men knowing the home front was being kept going and materially i.e. munitions and support e.g. plotters in operations rooms.The fact that this message was delivered over the radio meant that it was received in the heart of the home; whilst listening to this broadcast they were surrounded by all the things they held dear. They were told not to be afraid to take on the new role as “we are all in it together”. The implication was that if “every woman” did not “pull her weight” all they cared about would be lost. Finally the broadcast acknowledged it would be hard but concluded that “together” it was worthwhile.Question 2Source B supports source A: source A “calls all women” to come out of their traditional roles to “work together” to prosecute the war. Source B says that women are very important to the war effort and that woman “should get on with the job and do it well”.Whilst both sources exhort women to leave their traditional roles as a wife and homemaker. Source A implies that women should take on new roles and responsibilities while the war was prosecuted working as it were a support staff for their men who were fighting to maintain the status Quo of pre-war society. This implies that women who “make the sacrifice” of leaving home to do “war work” would be expected and indeed happy to return to their traditional role once the war was over.However source B whilst exhausting women to leave the home and get on with the job and do it well” see working outside the home was enjoyable and fulfilling. Source B implies not that women should work in order to maintain the status Quo but to preserve our freedom. In doing a good job to support the war effort this source implies that women should then have a right to stay in jobs that they enjoy and ask for conditions which there work has entitled them to. Source B stated that this was not the first time they had been asked to help in “the war effort” but the source reject the treatment they experienced after the first world war, this article implied that being directed back to domestically after the war not acceptable and that any woman who wanted to continue in job they enjoyed should be allowed to do so and further in conditions they were entitled to due to their contribution to the war effort.Question 3It was important for the government to encourage the nation to become more self-reliant. Prior to the war Britain used the empires as its larder importing a vast array of foodstuffs from all over the world, all this cargo being transported by a vast merchant fleet. However as the war progressed food came to be seen as “a weapon of war” the Germans reasoned that Britain was an island and therefore if they could cut off our food supply lines, they could starve Britain into submission. By 1941 The Battle Of The Atlantic where by German “u” boats were sinking thousands of tons of British shipping, causing sever shortages of food and other raw materials which were needed to prosecute the war. Therefore it was vitally important to persuade the population to make better use of what they had. The slogan uses the food we have to the best and in doing so “release ships seamen to fight the war”.As already stated prior to the war housewives had vast array of foods to choose from and therefore had not learned to make the best of native foods. The government therefore to undertake a vast re-education program. Many vegetables could be grown even in the smallest gardens and this was encouraged. The government exhausted the population “to eat more potatoes because they were healthy”. They are a good source of carbohydrate and could be homegrown while bread required the wheat, which had to be imported, and were therefore rationed. The government produced many leaflets in this re-education program, helping the housewife to understand how vegetables could be used to eke out rationed foodstuff whilst producing nutritious meals for their family. The variety of food during the war was very limited and as war dragged on the diet of the population could have become very mundane and boring and health could deter ate, this would have lowered the national moral and therefore it was vitally important that housewives were informed and encouraged to use common foods in unusual ways for variety and nutritionally healthy meals. The best was to distribute this information was in the form of easy to follow leaflets and to lesser extent the radio.In the war it would not have been surprising that ordinary housewives did not realise the contribution they were making to the war effort. They were simply at home while their men folk were at the front therefore leaflets said wise use of food released ships and men to fight Hitler encouraged them to do this. The government were ear of the importance moral at home, to the troops at the front fighting. In source D the leaflet depicts the housewife as a heroine worthy of medals for managing on scarce resources to rear healthy families and providing welcoming homes for their men folk when on leave. The poster almost makes the housewife a saint, putting up with all the tribulations of war without complaint or cheating i.e. not resorting to the black market.The government therefore produced thousands of leaflets to encourage economy, releasing men and ships; to encourage versatility e.g. replacing bread with potatoes and vegetables, so re-educating the British house wife and finally used leaflets to boost the housewife’s self esteem.Question 4Source F on the face of it would appear to be a happy, comic song which young women worked happily to. It is set in an engineering factory and although it gives the impression of a happy workforce united in the aim of defeating the enemy, the lyrics of the song would suggest that the women are not suited to this type of work “especially when she don’t know what its for!” The song gives the impression that the women working in the factory are not expected to understand how or why the components were made but simply expected to do it because they had been told that it would win the war. This would indercate because it is a popular song, it was a role many women were taking on, even though they did not know the spasific part it had in the war; they did it toward the war effort and the good of the country.Source G gives an account of a land girls experience during the war. This however was recorded almost forty years after the war and appeared to be a very personal view. The woman’s memory was that of a miserable time, which she was forced to undergo.These are probably limited in giving an objective view of women at work in the war. The two sources indicated the type of work undertaken by women e.g. engineering and agriculture;. However these sources are less valuable in that F gives the impression of a happy individual who will vacate the job once war is over, to it implies a proper engineer. Source G gives a purely personal view of the work undertaken by women in agriculture. The report being given years later, it could be very biased, there is no corroboration, e.g. “we were worse treated than the services” this was her opinion, she didn’t really know what they were treated like; another example is her view of people who lived in the country “the people were very resentful” this was her opinion of them. One gets the impression the woman was very bitter there is no attempt to give a counter view. This lady may have been very unlucky.These two sources merely mention two fields women were employed and level of responsibility they were given; the women in the song had little responsibility, they undertook tasks even though she did not know the specific outcome of her work, the second woman also has little control over where or the task which she was to undertake each day. Both source’s a have a low level of responsibility however they both worked for the good of the country. There is no mention of how they were employed in the armed forces, transport and heavy industry. Source F giving an unrealistic view that every woman was happy to work in boring factory production lines while source G gives the impression the women employed in agriculture were all miserable, resented and exploited. I therefore think that whilst both sources are interesting they have little useful information to impart as they take extreme views, i.e. every engineer was happy and women employed in agriculture were miserable. There is not sufficient detail or alternative view given.Question 5The author of source H quite rightly states that if the housewives of Britain had revolted the war would have been last as this would have seriously undermined the moral of the country. The housewife was instrumental in safe guarding the values for which their men were fighting. They quickly learned thought leaflets and demonstration how to manage the limited recourses that were available during the war, growing some of their own vegetables to supplement the precious rations of meat, sugar bread and chocolate. They managed to produce nutritious meals rearing healthy children, through air raids and shortages. Source E illustraH*123>?� � “�-������()”�”��������������������critically short of manpower, it was at this point that the government was “calling all women” to fight for “freedom and future” by undertaking work previously done by men. Source A, “(called) all women… to pull her weight”, it was no longer acceptable for a woman to designate all her time to domestic tasks. Source b supports this and recalls her own experience during the 1st world war when she did a “mans job” and she calls on the women of that generation to do the same. Another corroborating source it F, it was a popular song of the day which illustrates women working in the engineering environment; sourccontribution to the war was in the home I take the view that there was three elements the ar med forces actively fighting the war, which would not have been possible if they did not receive the equipment which was being produced by women at home; however if both groups had not been supported by, wives and mothers who managed the family resources and helped to rear happy healthy children. It was therefore not one section of the community, which was the most important, but that each section was independent upon each other to form the strong nation that fought and won the war.(2129 words).I do not agree that women’s most important contribution to the war was in the home I take the view that there was three elements the armed forces actively fighting the war, which would not have been possible if they did not receive the equipment which was being produced by women at home; however if both groups had not been supported by, wives and mothers who managed the family resources and helped to rear happy healthy children. It was therefore not one section of the community, which was the most important, but that each section was independent upon each other to form the strong nation that fought and won the war.

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