Heroism In American Literature

1751 Words 8 Pages
At the beginning of the year, I described war as something that is inevitable, something that is so engrained in human existence. It, like many other human advancements like agriculture and technology has grown over the course of time. It has become in a sense “more”. More violent, more destructive, and more overwhelming. It hasn’t become more civilized over the years. The rules and restrictions of war and “going to war” make it seem organized and civilized than the city-state wars of the previous centuries but in reality they’ve only gotten worse in their effects. Now more people can die in less time and soldiers come back from war more messed up than ever. Now we can know how many soldiers die every day because of modern technology but that …show more content…
War has always been in the homes of Americans, but never in it’s full form. It’s always been a partial image. We only see the heroes prevail through the harshest conditions in order to fulfill their duty as Americans. We see this in Films like American Sniper, The Deer Hunter and Saving Private Ryan. Our heroes go through unimaginable pain and trauma only to overcome them and save the mission. True story or not, these films have established a sense of heroism that is unlike any other. They have become the greatest propaganda for war. We don’t get to see the bad parts; they’re not advertised but the glory and heroism …show more content…
Kyle in American Sniper flat out says, “They’re savages, they’re fuckin savages” on many accounts. Though not an overarching determinate of Kyle’s character throughout the film, it does send send underlying biases to the audience and makes us root for our hero even more. It’s such a small phrase yet it holds so much power over how we as the audience perceive what the point of the film is and what we get out of it. Kyle is our hero, he is our sense and if he says something convincingly enough, we are driven to run to the narrative of hm being the all knowing hero. Similarly, The Deer Hunter portrays “the other side” as a bunch of savages hurting our men, our hero, Micheal. The Vietnamese didn’t have any redeeming quality throughout the whole film from the tormentors to the Russian roulette bookies on the streets of Saigon. It was essentially Mike against the dreaded Vietnam, so much so that Vietnam became almost like a hole you have to escape from; tragically evil. Somehow war films have become a thing of “us vs. them” in order to validate who we should accept as our hero and to what extent. It’s not enough to show a strong soldier who fights for what he believes in or for his country. Our heroes have to face seemingly the greatest evils on Earth (ironically they are portrayed just as such on screens of “the

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