A Few Good Men Essay

1690 words - 7 pages

What does it mean to be your own person? In every aspect of life, people have their own morals and values, but what if the rest of society does not have mutual feelings? Does that mean staying on your own path or choosing the path that society has chosen? When conforming to society, there are always consequences, but when following morals of your own, there are also prices to be paid. The play, A Few Good Men, perfectly demonstrates how following the rest of the society can ruin a person, but it also displays how when one has their own morals, the consequences are foul. The play is about two military men who are being accused of murdering a fellow marine, after being told not to touch him. ...view middle of the document...

However, Jessep follows this code of “Unit, God, Corps, Country” (Pg. 31), thinking that he has honor, but he is, in actuality, robotic. Because he follows this code so closely, he distorts the very meaning of it, leading to the annihilation of his career. When Jessep is questioned about what really transpired, he defends himself by saying, “I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom…Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives…I neither have time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it.”(Pg. 106) Due to the fact that Jessep gains too much power, he loses sight of his own morals and follows in the footsteps of those who abuse their influence. He almost has two marines charged with murder for something that he has done, and then he uses the Marine Corps to defend his actions. If Jessep had real honor, he would have owned up to what he had committed and would have told everyone that he had ordered the code red. His honor is flushed down the toilet because he gets too caught up in being a marine, forgetting that to have honor, he cannot be a robot. He betrays his country, his unit, the Marine Corps, and most of all; he lies before the court, under the eyes of God. The character of Jessep is different from the men being charged with murder because these men follow the code for what it truly is.
Stepford marines, although they seem to be following every rule in the book, sometimes have to break the rules in order to call themselves ethical. For example, Dawson, one of the marines being charged with murder succors a fellow marine officer because he is in utter need of food. Because he has done this, it sets him back in his career. Kendrick had written a report inquiring that Dawson was below average after the incident. Kaffee decides to call Kendrick out on the report by asking, “Lieutenant was Corporal Dawson given a rating of Below Average on this last report because you’d learned he’d been sneaking food to Curtis Barnes”? (Pg. 83) Kendrick says that Dawson had committed a crime, and this crime was disobeying an order from an officer. The soldiers in the Marines are supposed to follow orders, and this is probably a vital component in the corps because without it, there would be neither stability nor organization. However, those men who have honor must defend and follow until the lives of an innocent comrade is threatened. Early on in the play, we see that Dawson has true loyalty to the corps because he does not accept the deal that Kaffee has made with Ross to get the marines out of jail in six months. Dawson says, “I’m afraid we can’t do that, sir…we did nothing wrong, sir. We did our job. If that has consequences, then I’ll accept them, but I won’t say I’m guilty, sir.” (Pg. 51) The reader can see Dawson’s loyalty to the Marine Corps, but he also has faithfulness to his fellow companions when he...

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