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The Unholy Crusade, A Look Into Oliver Stone's War Film, Platoon

1019 words - 5 pages

Religion is a canopy under which American culture andsociety thrives. Its extension reaches the boundaries ofsuch cultural mainstreams as movies, television, andmusic. Oliver Stone's 1986 war film Platoon is an exampleof the religious subtleties and overtones that appear invarious American genres. Stone not only uses religiousthemes to portray the Vietnam War, but manipulates the warto show the decadence of American society.Throughout history, man has traveled the world, andconquered nations, in order to force one religion onanother. America was founded by Spain's attempt to spreadChristianity to the new world. Although Spain was themost powerful nation at the time, their attempt to ...view middle of the document...

When Adamand Eve committed man's first sin, Eden no longer held thesanctum of holiness, thus began the fall of man. LikeAdam and Eve, America set itself on a stage for the worldto see, and lost credibility due to their malevolentactions. Unlike the previous wars that Americaparticipated in, the Vietnam war was, for the most part,an independent mission. America sent over thousands oftroops, comprised mainly of very young men, who were greento the experience of life, much less war. One of theyoung men was Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), who came tothe war on his own accord. It is in this setting, thesame as Adam in Eden, that Chris comes to lose hisinnocence towards life. Chris's tenure in Vietnam exposeshim to experiences with drugs, killing, and brutality,which signifies his lost innocence, and spiritualdownfall. The same can be said for the other men inChris's platoon, who came over to war young to reluctantlylose their innocence early.Along with a religious backdrop, Stone uses symbolismto create his version of the controversial 1970's war.One of the major symbols involved that of the charactersBarnes and Elias, played by Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe,respectively. Their characters symbolized the Biblicalpersonalities of Cain and Abel. According to the Bible,Cain and Abel were the first...

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