Films of War: Different Perspectives Essay

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James Julian Eric Fish Engl 1010:A06 Oct. 31, 2010 Films of War: Providing Different Perspectives Hollywood’s dramatization of war paints a picture for those who never experienced the emotional and physical consequences of war. Movies like Platoon and We Were Soldiers are perfect examples of Hollywood’s portrayal of the Vietnam War. Both films are about a soldier’s experiences during the Vietnam War. The movie Platoon tells the bildungsroman of young, naïve Private Chris Taylor during his time serving as infantry during the war; while We Were Soldiers reflects the story of Colonel Moore and his Seventh Calvary as they fight the first major battle of the Vietnam War. According to Gale’s glossary of terms a bildungsroman is a coming of age story for a certain character. (Glossary of Terms) Although both films are dramatizations of the Vietnam War, differences in point of view, types of leadership, and the attitudes of the soldiers toward each other give different perspectives of the Vietnam War. In the film Platoon, the point of view is mainly told in first person, and is centered on the experiences of Chris Taylor, a private serving as infantry during the Vietnam War. As a result, great insight is gained about Taylor’s emotions and thoughts, but the thoughts of other characters are limited. Throughout the film, the film features how Taylor responds to the physical challenges of war, while also trying to maintain his humanity. The first person point of view is best expressed at the end when Taylor narrates: I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I’m sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul . . . But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build

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