Milgram’s Experiment And A Few Good Men

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English W 131, section 2779 14 November 2011 Comparative Analysis on Milgram’s Experiment and A Few Good Men The United States Marine Corps is no place for independent thinkers. The U.S. military system is based on the principle that nothing would function if soldiers were allowed to choose which orders to obey and which to ignore. But what if the order given is a crime? Who would be guilty, the soldier who carries out the crime or the superior officer who orders it? One movie that describes this question of who is responsible in military crime is Rob Reiner’s movie, 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 officers. The movie brings to light the issues of obedience, authority, responsibility, and morals. Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of obedience experiments during the 1960s that demonstrated surprising results. These experiments offer a powerful and disturbing look into the power of authority and obedience. Milgram’s experiment explains how far people will go in pleasing their authority figure even if it means ignoring their own beliefs and morals. Because the two Marines are brought into situation where obedience is expected, even when it goes against personal morals, Dawson and Downey were ordered to perform an illegal act called “Code Red,” which requires them to assault a fellow Marine. In A Few Good Men, two Marines, LCpl Dawson and PFC Downey, are order to do a “Code Red” by Lt Kendrick. Kendrick was previously been ordered by Col Jessup. Knowing that they should follow the orders as given, Dawson and Downey performed the “Code Red” which requires them to assault a fellow Marine, Santiago. Santiago dies as a result of their assault. LTJG Daniel Kaffee, a Navy Lawyer, is assigned to defend Dawson and Downey, who are

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