Comparative Analysis- a Few Good Men

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Comparative Analysis: A Few Good Men A Few Good Men, directed by Rob Reiner, starts off with a scene about two men, Private First Class Louden Downey and Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson, giving a Private First Class William T. Santiago a code red; the Private ends up dying a few hours later. Later in the movie, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup meets with his two senior officers, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson and Lieutenant Jonathan Kendrick, struggling to make a decision: give Pfc. Santiago a transfer off the base, or ‘toughen him up’. Col. Jessup ends up keeping Pfc. Santiago on the base and gives orders to Lance Corporal Dawson to give Santiago a code red. Philip G. Zimbardo, author of The Stanford Prison Experiment, attempted to do a two week study on people like Col. Jessup; how did men like him justify their actions that could look very controversial to the public. After only six days of the experiment did Zimbardo receive his answer. A Few Good Men addresses how dangerous a situation can be when morals are tossed aside for the fear of being reprimanded; Philip Zimbardo found that it’s both the pressure and the self-justification that causes this to occur. The night Pfc. Santiago was killed, Cpl. Dawson made a decision to obey his commanding officer to give Pfc. Santiago the code red. Before the night, however, Cpl. Dawson had been punished for not obeying an order. He gave a fellow marine some food and drink because he had convinced himself that moral responsibility is more important than blind obedience. For that, he was given a bad review. This helped fuel his ultimate decision concerning Pfc. Santiago. He has to convince himself that he did what was right, even though it went against his own morals. While Lieutenant Daniel Kaffe is questioning Pfc. Downey and Cpl. Dawson, Cpl. Dawson states what he has repeatedly told himself since the night of

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