Jean Prevost and Virginia Woolf - Blog 7/8

This article by Jean Prevost and Virginia Woolf’s book, reviews of propaganda and the false media build-up that contributes to the people combining patriotism and war together. Prevost talks about “propaganda urges your approval - and promises nothing in return” (674). This is where Virginia Woolf’s viewpoint of false propaganda comes in too, but her viewpoint is directed at women’s reactions and their ability in war.

Prevost also mentions, “For the most part, man accepts the reputation by which he is known. Our character is ours, suggested, perhaps, chiefly by others - because of the force of circumstance upon the individual is constant and strong” (674). This is why propaganda works when men, especially young men are building and developing their reputations. They based their character on how others and their country will see them. 

While Virginia Woolf focuses more on the limits of women and their parts in the war, “broadly speaking, the main distinction between us who are outside society and you who are inside society must be that whereas you will make use of the means provided by your position—leagues, conferences, campaigns, great names, and all such public measures as your wealth and political influence place within your reach—we, remaining outside, will experiment not with public means in public but with private means in private” (103). Woolf’s focus is on the ability of women to influence war based on their social standings. Women’s influences are limited and she urges for a war free environment.