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War Kills The Soul In 'Full Metal Jacket'

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“The dead only know one thing, it is better to be alive” (Full Metal Jacket). Many of the men in the movie Full Metal Jacket soon come to find that war kills the soul the same way a bullet stops the heart. In this paper, I will argue that war kills the soul is one of the main themes in the movie Full Metal Jacket because of the heartbreaking decision that one soldier is driven to make. Stanley Kubrick starts Full Metal Jacket with young Marines getting their head shaved to prepare them for the hell that they are about to face. Soon they will be sent to Paris Island, South Carolina to begin a ruthless boot camp where they will be degraded and molded into the perfect killing machine. Once the young group of Marines has been thoroughly brain washed they are then shipped to their next layer of hell where their morality will quickly be pushed to its limits, Vietnam. As the first step in molding the perfect soldiers begins the young deployments are soon faced with their first series of mental abuse. One soldier, Private Gomer Pyle, is…show more content…
Sargent Hartman is continuously publicly humiliating Pyle in front of the other men by making Pyle suck his thumb with his pants down to talking down on him while he is trying to get through the obstacle courses. One night after the men were forced to do push-ups because of Pyle sneaking a donut out of the cafeteria the men fill socks with miscellaneous items and beat Private Pyle with it in his sleep. This is the major turning point for Pyle, without his comrades behind him to support him he begins to feel alone and the seed of suicide is planted in his mind. In the scenes to follow Pyle becomes very skilled with a gun and soon earns the respect of Sergeant Hartman. These scenes symbolize Pyle’s soul shattering and morphing into the cold killer that the military is looking for to go to
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