The Pleasure of Death: The Construction of Masculine Citizenship in Military Recruitment Ads

Posted in 2008 Journal


Through a psychoanalytic reading of visual and emotional appeals, this essay discusses the rhetorical devices employed in the National Guard’s 2007 military recruitment advertisement-Three Doors Down music video. The focus of this analysis is on the interplay between the Freudian concepts of the pleasure principle, the death drive and the uncanny. The author argues that hidden appeals to destructive fantasy are revealed in the music video-advertisement and utilized to entice men to seek a glorified form of citizenship based on pleasurable fantasies of aggressive actions. This psychoanalytic reading reveals who the National Guard is targeting, who is being excluded, and how fantasy is being used to appeal to the unspoken pleasure found in destruction and violence, under the guise of heroics.
Full Article (PDF):application/pdf iconpleasure-of-death.pdf