Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Robert S. Weise

Second Advisor

Carolyn Renee Dupont

Third Advisor

Christiane Diehl Taylor


This project aims to illustrate the change in emotions white, middle class Americans experienced towards the atomic bomb during the nineteen forties to early nineteen sixties by examining the popular culture that they produced and consumed. These Americans described the bomb as being an object of beauty, a powerful savior, an object of prosperity, and a weapon of fear. Each of these depictions are examined in their own separate chapter with various popular culture items examined as evidence. A wide range of popular media were inspected for this study, including films, magazines, comic books, cartoons, novels, and even video games.