Masculinity in the Military

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Combat has been portrayed in the media for many years, especially in this day and age. Movies, books, and videogames all play a major role in portraying war and military life. Unfortunately many of these depictions tend to glorify war, and it is anything but glorious. In the film The Hurt Locker viewers are given a very gritty and realistic perspective of the life of military personnel in a warzone. Because the film takes place in modern day Baghdad, it also provides the point of view of soldiers in our own generation—something that may cause the viewer to think about how easily they could be the ones in a country at war. The film is unique in the sense that it is shown from the perspective of a US Army bomb disposal team, which makes it less focused on one “side” fighting another and more about a group of soldiers in hostile territory with no defined enemy. Despite the fact that it differs from many other war movies in this way, there is no lack of physical danger. Bomb disposal is one of the more stressful and extreme jobs in the military, and it is obvious in the film how physically taxing the job can be. Even though the soldiers are in great physical shape, the gear they are given does very little to protect them and is very difficult to wear. A good example of this happens early in the movie, when Sgt. Thompson attempts to use the plastic explosives to detonate the IED. When the IED is set off by an Iraqi that Eldridge spots at the last minute, Thompson’s bomb suit does practically nothing to shield him from the blast causing him to die instantly. The other team members are left without a leader and Eldridge is left to wonder whether he could have saved his Sargent’s life. The emotional toll of war is one of the stronger themes in this film and Eldridge’s character best represents this theme. In the beginning of the film when Sgt. Thompson is

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