Obedience In The Film: A Few Good Men

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Military obedience is a questionable cause of many horrific events; yet, it is never a strong defense in court. If one is to examine the movie A Few Good Men directed by Rob Reiner, it is obvious to see that military obedience is crucial, even if the end the movie has a slightly unrealistic court decision. Using Philip Zimbardo 's article, "The Stanford Prison Experiment," in which he describes his experiment that tested the effects of roles and the situation, one could see how in the movie much of what happened came out of a sense of entitlement. An article titled “The My Lai Massacre: A Military Crime of Obedience,” written by Herbert Kelman and Lee Hamilton, debates the My Lai massacre, the authority figures there, and orders given as well as the causes for or situations in which a massacre …show more content…
That could very well be the case with Dawson and Downey, and Carey goes on to quote a prison counselor for criminals on death row who said he couldn’t do anything to help the criminals he counsels, “I hate it, but I do it. I am required to do it” (Carey). He explains that after many years of this job staff members had similar moral disengagement as those who performed the executions. Kelman and Hamilton agree, the only concept that matters in the military is what orders are given (Kelman 136). In A Few Good Men the exact orders that went from Col. Jessup to Lt. Kendrick to Dawson and Downey are not explicitly shared: the statement that is admitted is that Col. Jessup ordered a “code red.” This leaves a question as to what exactly was said, but he either explicitly order, implicitly encourage, or tacitly approve of the harm done to Santiago which, Kelman and Hamilton, say is authorization, the first step required to bend people’s morals (Kelman 139). Col. Jessup may have specifically chosen Dawson as the one to carry out the “code red” because of the sense of entitlement he has. Dawson, as

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