Trope Workshop:Propaganda Piece

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Trope Workshop Guidelines

Propaganda is generally defined as the communication of ideas, information, and rumors for the purpose of influencing opinions in support for or against a particular cause through emotional appeals; the Propaganda Piece (which is also referred to as just 'propaganda') is the means by which this is carried out.

In short, it is effectively a deliberate Author Tract, which naturally means there is a lot of overlap between the trope. Author Tracts are distinct in that they tend to be more personal to the creator in question, and can often be an unintended result of their choice in themes, though it can also be very much intentional. Conversely, the Propaganda Piece is usually far less ambiguous (if at all) about its purpose as such; it is often the result of an effort to garner support for an organization or institution, and is frequently created in some part or else commissioned by that organization or institution themselves.

Despite the unsavory and manipulative connotations associated with the term in modern times, "propaganda" is considered a historically neutral term. And as always, Tropes Are Not Bad - for example, religions are naturally inclined towards spreading news of their faith as part of their function. There is also some overlap with Public Service Announcements, which are designed to increase public attention towards matters of health and safety - as is the case with many a form of Anvilicious media, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.

Contrast with the original sense of Samizdat.

Examples of Propaganda Piece include:

Comic Books

  • Captain America originated as a comic intended to rally support against the Nazis from a non-intervening America; the famous issue #1 cover shows Cap in his iconic red-white-and-blue costume punching Adolf Hitler, and post-WWII would see him fighting Communists accordingly.
  • Jack Chick's infamous Chick Tracts, free comics intended to disseminate the author's radical Christian views.


  • Don't Be a Sucker has a Hungarian immigrant, who's a professor, speaks to an American man who was watching a gathering. The film was to warn those of the dangers of prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities and immigrants. The professor describes his experience living in Nazi Germany as an example of what happens if one too many fall for the propaganda.
  • The short film, Red Nightmare, has a man named Jerry experience what the United States would be under the Communist system. The film was to explain about the dangers of communism, including the stripping of one's freedom.


Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Western Animation

Other Media