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People's Heroes

In the dichotomy of good and evil, good was most often represented by a youthful worker — the symbol of productivity and loyalty. Posters emphasizing heroic conduct showed Soviet citizens surpassing their limits, liberated from their pre-revolutionary margins. Victoria Bonnell argues that anyone who "performed great feats" requiring youth and agility could become a symbolic hero because these characteristics "were directly linked to the labor function." Not only exceptional labor, but also learning was valued by the heroes of Soviet art. Some images emphasize the intellectuality of workers, their theoretical knowledge of their fields and an all-around absence of ignorance, an artifact of the past. The posters imply that both men and women are participants in this social self-improvement and define ideal roles for both genders under the new establishment.

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