Dr Strangelove - Response To The Cold War

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The classic film Dr. Strangelove is a black comedy that warns people about the possibilities of global destruction. It is a satirical look at the Cold War and what could have easily been a nuclear war, ending in devastation for much of the world. According to the online dictionary, the definition of black comedy is the combination of morbid and farcical elements (in writing or drama) to give a disturbing effect. The director, Stanley Kubrick uses black humour to respond to the Cold War; Kubrick makes light of the situation of a rogue General causing the apparent end of the world. This film represents a political and cultural parody of Cold War rhetoric and anxiety. Stanley Kubrick responds to the fear of nuclear annihilation and Cold War paranoia through black humour, using exaggerated stereotypes of characters such as Jack Ripper and Buck Turgidson. He conveys the concept of ‘strategic deterrence’ in the extreme form of the doomsday device and makes light of the nuclear arms race. Kubrick uses sexual connotations to satirise Cold War figures, attitudes and mindsets. Stanley Kubrick’s film deals comically with the fear that the opposing sides had of nuclear annihilation and their strategic deterrence as a direct consequence of this fear. Dr. Strangelove defines deterrence as “the art of producing in the mind of the enemy fear to attack”. Kubrick uses the ultimate deterrence: mutually assured destruction. The doomsday device represents the dangers of mutually assured destruction, an unstoppable deterrence device. In the film the deterrence device built by the Soviet Union is impossible to stop and once triggered will release enough radiation to make the world uninhabitable for one hundred years. By the 1950’s both the United States and Soviet Union had the power to obliterate the other side. This meant they could launch a devastating attack even after

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