Comparative Analysis Of The Movie 'A Few Good Men'

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Emily Arthur ACP W131 Comparative Analysis Final Draft 16 December 2009 The Few. The Proud. The Marines. Who is responsible in crimes of obedience? Who needs to take responsibility for actions taken? Where does the blame lie in horrible crimes, done only to satisfy higher authority? These questions have been discussed in many situations, including the more controversial situations of military crimes. The question of who is responsible—the one giving the orders or the one carrying out the orders—seems to be of the most concern. One movie that depicts this question of who is responsible in military crime is Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men. In A Few Good Men, two Marines are put on trial for a murder that resulted from orders given by their…show more content…
The case is given to Navy lawyer, Lieutenant Kaffee, who decides to opt for a plea bargain. As Kaffee starts researching, looking more into the case, and interviewing those involved (including Jessep), he realizes there is more to the case than what meets the eye. Kaffee decides to take the case all the way to court and try to reveal the truth: Colonel Jessep is the reason for Santiago’s death and justice should be done in convicting an authority figure unwilling to accept responsibility. At the end of the trial and several witnesses later, Dawson and Downey are declared innocent of Santiago’s murder and are dishonorably discharged from the Marines. Colonel Jessep is then convicted of the murder of Santiago, although he never understands his responsibility for the crime committed. Similar to the movie, Milgram’s The Perils of Obedience discusses the same issues of obedience to authority and how far people will go in pleasing their authority figure even if it means ignoring their own beliefs and morals. Milgram observes through a personal experiment that people will go to extreme measures to please…show more content…
A Few Good Men shows many examples of learning how to take responsibility for personal actions, but one of the last scenes with Colonel Jessep reveals two points most related to this issue of responsibility: responsibility to authority and responsibility of authority. In the first, Marines Dawson and Downey begin to understand why answering to authority was wrong in this situation, and in the second, Colonel Jessep is convicted for a murder in which he never feels he should be responsible for. Both of these situations allow others to see issues of morals, responsibility, and obedience. A Few Good Men gives several lessons, one of which can impact society as a whole if understood thoroughly: One must always know they are responsible for their own actions--always. It does not matter what the circumstances are, one is responsible for what they do personally, and what the outcomes can be when ordering others to do something. Through this movie and interpretations of its content, society can recognize how valuable it is to take responsibility for personal

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