Full Metal Jacket Themes

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Name: Charles-Pierre Cook-Firquet
Professor: Dr. Earhart
Course: Management & Film
Due: 22 Sept. 2014
Full Metal Jacket Essay I first viewed this film eight years ago at a birthday party. Full Metal Jacket did not carry the same sort of connotation as it does now. After viewing it through the different levels of interpreting meaning, it is apparent that this film is far deeper than just anti-war propaganda with an unnecessary amount of swearing and gore. Through referential meaning, the most basic part of the plot was revealed. A few main characters were followed during bootcamp as they grew from what the sergeant called “ladies” into real soldiers who were ready for war. The explicit meaning in this film is that the whole war in Vietnam was
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He always made them out to be the bad guys who were undeserving of the help the Americans were providing. There are countless Vietnamese prostitutes and robbers throughout the film who were supposed to be on the “good side”. The implicit meaning was a bit difficult to find the first time through the film. After seeing it again, and paying very close attention, the theme was more apparent. The central theme of Full Metal Jacket is that war is dehumanizing. There are other themes present, but this was the most obvious to see as the main theme. A part of reaching the central theme is that regular boys are carved into soldiers through the total institution that is the US Marine Corps. This institution was able to make a kind person like Pyle turn into a savage who murdered his sergeant in cold blood. All of the other men in the bootcamp became the same person, just multiplied, with equal ideals and actions. The final way of viewing the film, through symptomatic meaning, was a new way to look at films for me. It is looking through the ideologies and trends of the time period to understand the background of the film and why it was created the way that it was. It seems as if the whole US involvement in the Vietnam war was
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