The Vietnam War Film 'Full Metal Jacket'

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There are two basic ideas that can be taken from any war. War is expensive and war is hell. The second of these ideas is the premise of countless media adaptations; the violence of war has been captured, reenacted, and even created on film for viewers all over the world to enjoy. Even though war is a treacherous event, the general public enjoys viewing all of the gory details that entail. The American public’s fascination with war dates back to the Civil War; at the battle of Bull Run, northern citizens watched the battle while picnicking on the sidelines. During the Vietnam War, Americans could watch the war on the nightly news. Modernly, the American populace has war films and among those films is Full Metal Jacket. A war movie film can be…show more content…
War often confuses soldiers about what is morally right. While some may strictly adhere to following their own moral compass, others may lose sight of their beliefs and do whatever is needed to achieve the goal. The overall goal of most war films is to demonstrate to the viewers barbarous reality of armed conflict. In Full Metal Jacket war is shown as the brutal, violent tragedy it truly is and the soldiers are seen fighting not only the external battle surrounding them, but also an internal one of whether what they are doing is actually an honorable deed. One character, known as Mother Animal, essentially has no visible signs of internal conflict about killing a teenage sniper, yet Private Joker clearly has a difficult time accepting the idea of killing the young female shooter. Both men have different opinions of morals when it comes to warfare. Even before the Marines were shipped off to Vietnam, they had to decide if it was acceptable to beat another recruit due to the recruit causing the platoon to be punished. Private Joker reluctantly agrees to bludgeon the marine with a sock with a bar of soap in it. The other recruits have seemingly no dilemma, yet Private Joker must be persuaded due to his moral beliefs; he is peer pressured into the hazing. The men are constantly having to make life-altering decisions such as…show more content…
American society was not entirely in favor of American involvement in Vietnam. In fact, around the United States people held protests against the war. The peace sign became a prevalent symbol in the antiwar movement. In Full Metal Jacket, these protests are referenced on multiple occasions. Private Joker is a “combat correspondent”, so his job is to record the stories of American war heroes that will be used to help sell Americans on the war and to convince soldiers to continue fighting even though society did not support their choice. His commanding officers describes to him the need for inspiring tales because of society opposing the war. He essentially was in charge of gathering facts that could be used as propaganda. Private Joker, ironically, wears a peace pin on his uniform jacket yet his helmet has the words “Born To Kill” written on it. He is asked multiple times by commanding officers about the peace sign, but he never removes it. The American public could watch scenes from Vietnam during the war, and the film makes sure that news crews are shown filming and interviewing soldiers. The soldiers are all pro war in Vietnam which demonstrates the historical premise of the film, and the reaction of society at the time. Throughout the entirety of the film, the theme, historical accuracy, and the overall genuineness of the film resonates with the viewer making Full Metal Jacket a distinct
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