Analysis Of Luis Valdez's 'The Buck Private'

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The Vietnam War demonstrates “ The insidious power of propaganda...The longest war this century was a war waged by America against Vietnam... It was an attack on the people of Vietnam, communist and non-communist, by American forces. It was an invasion of their homeland and their lives” ( John Pilger ). Luis Valdez's drama, “ The Buck Private “ explains how the government’s propaganda makes society romanticize war. Valdez supports his argument by illustrating to the audience how society sees Johnny becoming a man when he decides to join the service to fight in the Vietnam War, being seduced by all this propaganda, expecting to come back as a veteran of war in order to earn society's respect. Valdez wants to inform young people about the dangers …show more content…
Because he had good intentions to improve himself, he decided to reject his intuition, making a poor decision that cost him his life.
At the beginning of scene 2 Valdez provides to the audience a clear example of Johnny's feelings towards joining the service: he realized that becoming a soldier would give him a certain respect. In this part of the scene out in the street, Johnny begins to think about his life, “ They think I'm a good for nothing. Maybe they'll feel different when I come back from Nam. Sure, the War Veteran!” ( Valdez 629 ). Valdez makes Johnny a stereotype of anyone who has no purpose, but also good intentions to improve themselves by going to war in order to change their fate. In the play there is a particular scene that shows us a clear example of how Johnny did not make a wise decision: he gave up on his education, and got lost for not having a plan for his future. He knew that he did not want his younger brother to follow his path, and so thought, “ One of us has to make it in this life. Me--I guess I'll just get married to Cecilia and have a bunch of kids” ( Valdez 629 ). Therefore, he decided to enlist. “ Johnny left for Vietnam, never to return. He didn't want to go and yet he did. It never crossed his mind to refuse” ( Valdez 638). In this way he is a hero, because his motives were noble. He wanted to set a good example for
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At the end of this play Johnny realized that war was not as they told him it was going to be. Reality hit him while he was at Vietnam receiving orders to kill innocent people, being forced to accomplished the mission make him visualized his own family while killing those innocents realizing the horrors of war. “ I killed three of them right away, but when I looked down it was my pa, my little brother and you, mother. I don't know how much more I can stand” ( Valdez 638-639). Valdez tries to persuades the audience by showing how society can pushed people to join the service convinced with the fact that is the right thing to do, but they do not seem to realize the truth behind

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