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Julia Borger Blog Post 11/1

After watching Platoon, I have gained a newfound respect and perspective on soldiers fighting and enduring the conditions of war. My father was in the Marines, and he and my older brother enjoy watching films associated with wars, and I would always shy away from watching these with them because personally I don’t really love the violent and gruesome scenes that generally frame those movies. However, after watching this film and finding it extremely riveting and inspiring, I think I will definitely join in the next time they are watching or even watch them on my own.

I found it very interesting to see the contrast between the soldiers lives while in uniform and on the fields, compared to hanging out in their bunks while “off-duty”. It seemed so strange – there was a war raging miles from them that they were participating in, yet they still could relax enough to dance, sing, and joke around with each other. I feel like this ability to let their guards down a little and experience some type of normalcy in their insane routine of eat, sleep, and fight, is a very crucial aspect to keep their morals high and serve as a distraction from what was happening around them. It is crazy how we take chilling with our friends whenever we want for granted, when for these men it could possibly be their only saving grace during the war.

I was also struck by the concept of being a drafted solider vs one who volunteered, especially for the Vietnam War, as there was so much controversy surrounding that idea. I thought it was interesting how in the film, Chris informs his fellow comrades that he volunteered for the war, and they were dumbstruck, unable to fathom why, as they could tell he was an educated white man who definitely would have gone to college. Chris explains that he gave up going to college because he wasn’t going to learn anything worthwhile anyways. The class stereotypes surrounding the war are evident here and allow us to understand how many felt about them during this time.


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  1. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I think the scene when Chris tells the rest of his platoon that he volunteered for the war is a very important part of the movie for both the plot and the character. Before the fight scene at the Buddhist temple, Chris notes that the other, non-volunteer soldiers are mostly of low classes and minority backgrounds. Thus, it is hard for them to understand why Chirs would choose to go to war. Interestingly, the fight scene that ensues helps bring them together.

  2. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    I also find it interesting how they act when they are off duty, I just don’t understand how they are actually able to let their guard down. I definitely think that them having fun is a distraction from the horrors of war.

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