A Few Good Men Character Analysis

Improved Essays
Sorkin wrote A Few Good Men to try to communicate one major theme: what makes a person good or bad, hero or villain, altruistic or egoistic is all very subjective and depends on whoever is judging the person, and their personal life experiences and biases. This message shows up in almost every character, from the obvious protagonist Kaffee to the lesser side characters Ross and Kendrick. No one thinks they are the villain, and “villainous” people almost always think what they are doing is morally and logically correct.
Kaffee is the first character we see this theme in, from the beginning of the play he is care-free and irresponsible. These may be minor hiccups in anyone else’s character, but as a Navy attorney this is unacceptable. Kaffee
…show more content…
Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.” (2,106) Jessep does what he thinks is right. His background as a serious Naval officer and his view of his responsibilities make his actions not only defensible, but the right ones. He will do anything to save lives, and to save lives he has to make his unit the strongest possible, and to make his unit the strangest possible he must get rid of weak links. Santiago was a weak link and ridding him from his unit strengthened it, in his eyes, an invaluable amount. However, to the majority of the readers and the non-battle hardened lawyers in D.C., the brutality of Jessep and how he controls his unit is unthinkable, and since they have no real idea of the lives saved by these actions, that is all it is to them: brutality. Whether what Jessep does with his Code Reds is honorable and necessary, or villainous and sadistic all depends on your point of view and what you value in this …show more content…
They execute the Code Red, and accidently kill Santiago on orders from Kendrick and Jessep. The argument of whether they are good men is debated by the characters throughout the play, Sam being the man that judges them most harshly. Sam - “They beat up on a weakling. And that’s all they did. The rest is just smoke filled coffee-house crap. They tortured and tormented a weaker kid. And it wasn’t just that night, read the letters, it was eight months. And you know what? I’ll bet it was his whole life. They beat him up, and they killed him. And why? Because he couldn’t run very fast.” (2,70) Sam hates these men because he feels that they simply killed a man in cold blood, he does not think the reasoning behind these actions can make up for the actions themselves. His hate of these men seem to be rooted in something from his past. It seems that, at some point in his life, Sam had to deal with bullying, either first hand or through someone else. His apparent past makes him more willing to chalk what these men did up to “bullying” without another thought. Another aspect of Sam’s perspective that makes him hate these men is his inexperience with life in a warzone. Kaffee - “They’re not permitted to question orders. Period.” Sam - “Then what’s the secret? What are the magic words? I give orders every day and nobody follows them.” Kaffee - “We work where there are softball games

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    He admits that he knows Hyde is a terrible person and is a negative influence on the entire community, but he is being very selfish here. “And Edward Hyde alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil” (45). He knows hyde is evil, and this should trigger an alarm but he is too fascinated with his work to even think about that too deeply. He sometimes ponders that issue, but never considers it a big deal. There are physical traits that should set off alarms about Hyde and changing into him, but that simple relief is too much to not bear.…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Tom Robinson Racism

    • 1045 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Maycomb County, the setting of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, has a deeply ingrained culture of racism over reason. Tom Robinson’s death was unjust, yet few mourned and the eventual death did not shock anyone. The reason for this tragedy is that Tom was too confident that people would show good morals when faced with a complicated decision. He made a series of poor choices that placed him in a difficult situation that even the best lawyer could not get him out of. Although Tom was framed, it was his own mistakes that enabled Bob Ewell to prosecute him in the first place.…

    • 1045 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During the second half of the book, while Charlie and Tommo are at war, is no exception. Leaders misuse their ability to exert power over their underlings and show them that they will not accept bad behaviour. The Peaceful brothers as well as the rest of the company face horrible maltreatment from army officers, specifically Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley who is Charlie’s antithesis. Hanley, as his name suggests, is a horrible man. He is unjust with his punishments and has vendettas against individuals such as Charlie.…

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His insensitivity played a major role in his case because not being able to process emotions is very strange in the eyes of the jury or instead the jury itself could be called society because that’s what they are, a jury of his peers. They ultimately decide to end his life, although Meursault describes him being content with the life he lived and that he does not fear death. Whenever Meursault speaks in the novel the entire tone changes, his words bring a certain darkness that no other character brings. His insensitivity portrays his true colors and how he does not care at…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Man Vs. Self Conflict

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages

    self conflict can be hard to overcome just because most characters are not able to get over the fact that they are having trouble within themselves. Dave Saunders on the other hand, even though being called “not a man”, faced his own fears, and overcame the troubles from within. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” proved to have a man vs. self conflict between the protagonist, Dave Saunders and his underlying conflict that was hanging over his head for the majority of the story. He easily brings on the conflict to himself, but is not afraid to admit it and do something about it. Man vs. self conflicts tend to bring the worst out in a character because true feelings get to be released.…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Thematic Analysis Othello

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages

    It is evident that even Iago is not mentally stable for all the damage he is doing and kills Emilia. Desdemona was affected by Othello’s behavior after he was manipulated by Iago “Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee and love the after” (Shakespeare 5.2.20). Desdemona was killed by Othello after he was manipulated by Iago. There is a physical struggle in this scene but it is all brought on by what is going on mentally for Othello. He is jealous, manipulated and cannot think strait which leads him to kill Desdemona.…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He is depicted as the innocent young boy who lives in his own “shell”. However, as the recruiters changes him, his way of thinking changes. The war has changed Leper to become a psychotic, rude and uncontrollable man who cannot think straight. He becomes mentally mad that old Leper is gone. Although the Leper did change, his change symbolically represents the outcomes of the war and how the boys at Devon are not ready for the war.…

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He says how he can’t see the evil in society or his shame making him feel loss and unaware of his identity and truth. Oedipus is living life with embarrassment and no admiration in his society. However, Oedipus gets violent towards Tiresias. "I can, if there is power in truth, you sightless, witless, senseless, mad old man!"(20). Oedipus 's insolent behavior and manners is what made him lose his identity.…

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Also Ishmael Beah gave no care or regard to human life because he thought he was a big intimidation to those around him like civilians and rebels. Ishmael trying to gain that intimidation caused him to hurt and kill people and the more he did that the more he cared less to human life. In a way he was dehumanized, the things he witness were so graphic and hard to take in at times. Furthermore Ishmael Beah shows how a person who is good can get brainwashed into not caring about others and life. Ishmael Beah shows his careless emotions and actions toward life while being in war.…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Bernard Marx also states “ The bruises hurt him, the cuts were still bleeding; but it was not for the pain that he sobbed; it was because he was all alone, because he had been driven out, alone, into this skeleton world of rocks and moonlight.”(Pg. 136). This blatant abuse and mistreatment towards John is the reason why he feels distatched from his own society, even though it should be a place where he is comfortable and is treated equally from everyone. It’s not the abuse from everyone that bothers John, it’s the realization that he doesn’t fit in with everyone and his sense of morality and belonging is dampened because of this. This attitude of alienation can also be traced to John’s life living in the city.…

    • 1118 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays