Essay about Jarhead: An Instrumental Film in American War Culture

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Jarhead follows the journey of Anthony Swofford during his service in Middle East. Throughout his journey, Swofford presents a unique perspective on a variety of issues that indirectly affect American life and the “war” on terrorism. Some of the issues touched on include the mental stability and mentality of American soldiers, the influence of politics in the presentation of war, and the construction of a marine. Through these themes, along with the unique perspectives offered by the characters in the film, the audience is able to gain insight into the corruption and lies that are “war”. This insight ultimately helps the audience analyze the text deeper and enables them to draw the similarities in current events and dissect what they…show more content…
The rambunctious behavior of the soldier’s triumphant victory is a strong message visually for the viewer. These soldiers struggle to find their identity and once the war ends, the identity they’ve build at war vanishes, (McCutcheon, 2007). As a result, they essentially lose a part of them selves, (McCutcheon, 2007). When they return home, many soldiers struggle with psychological issues that prevent them from resuming their once regular lives, (McCutcheon, 2007). The images of soldiers celebrating at the end of war give the viewer a taste of this problem. This also allows the viewer insight to the deeper issues surrounding an American soldier’s mental stability and mentality. Through this image, along with many others throughout the film, the viewer is able to dig deeper and truly analyze what they are seeing. Throughout the movie, it is apparent that politics have a heavy influence on the “war” on “terrorism”. The most obvious place to start when looking at political influence within the film is with Foster’s character and his informed skepticism towards his mission, “Operation Desert Storm” (Mendes, 2005). Through Foster’s narrative perspective within the film, the viewer is able to learn about the liberal “left-wing” western take on the war in Iraq, (Mendes, 2005). Foster’s character bluntly tells his fellow marines that, “this is a war for oil” (Mendes, 2005). He explains that America is solely there to protect the oil

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