Born To Kill Essay

745 words - 3 pages

The film Full Metal Jacket (1987) is a film about the Vietnam War. The movie shows the war from a Marines’ perspective. The protagonist is nick-named Joker. He becomes an enlisted reporter. The movie begins at basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina and ends in the middle of the conflict in Vietnam. The depiction of Boot camp, The Tet Offensive, and War correspondents solidifies Full Metal Jacket as an honest representation of the soldier’s entire experience during Vietnam.
Boot camp is accurately depicted in Full Metal Jacket. Parris Island is one of the two Marine training facilities. The two complexes are Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. In March of 1966 Parris Island had 10,979 recruits. The harsh treatment of enlisted personnel shown in the film parallels the treatment of some Drill Instructors. The actor who played the Drill Instructor, R. Lee Ermy, was a marine drill sergeant before he became an actor. He was quoted as saying “If I thought he was making an anti war movie I would have had no part in it.” He was, of course, speaking of Stanley Kubrick’s ground breaking picture which is widely perceived as an anti war demonstration. Treatment by drill sergeants often led to psychotic breaks. The verbal and physical abuse Drill Sergeants gave to new recruits has lead to later problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The thirteen week training program enlistees are put through is strenuous and sometimes fatal. Boot Camp in Full Metal Jacket is one of the most accurate aspects. (Pike, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/mcrd-parris-island.)
The realities of the Tet Offensive were offered in the film. Tet is a major holiday in Vietnam and treaties were signed to secure the sacred nature of this day; this was the perfect opportunity to surprise the American forces. The Vietnamese easily snuck through the horde of people celebrating the Lunar New Year. The NLF attacked that night so they could celebrate without the American retaliation that they were sure would follow the attack. The United States did reply to the assault; they bombed everything possible in the Vietnamese rural and urban centers. There were more bombs...

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