Symbolism In American Sniper

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The 2014 film American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, is based on the story of United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who became one of the most prolific snipers in United States military history. Upon release, the film was described as being “less concerned with action heroism than the consequences of deadly action, how it chips away the living” (Persall). Much of the praise for the film surrounds the portrayal of the internal struggle of the main character Chris Kyle. As the film smothers the audience with nationalistic propaganda, the audience neglects to take notice of the portrayal of the Iraqi people that Chris Kyle kills on his path to becoming the “national hero” that the film portrays him to be. A closer look into the cinematography…show more content…
The sheep are people in the world who believe there is no evil in the world, wolves are the predators who use violence to prey on the weak, and sheepdogs are the people who are blessed with the gift of aggression and use their aggression to protect the sheep from the evil wolves. The entirety of this scene is an allegory for Orientalism. The sheep are the citizens of countries in the western world who are considered to be innocent. The wolves, who are evil and calculating, are equated to the Orient, while the sheepdog is the military of the western world. Their job is to protect the citizens of the western world from the Orient’s treacherous influence. Kyle’s father’s monologue carries an extremely pro-war sentiment and very well could influence his decision making when he eventually joins the military. Thus subconsciously, Chris Kyle has had the idea that is justified to kill the enemy in order to protect the innocent since he was a child. Throughout the scene, the camera angles place the father at a higher position than Chris Kyle and his brother. This is a parallel to how those in higher positions in the western world influence the general public’s ideas about those in the

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