A Few Good Men: Film Analysis

Decent Essays
Henry David Thoreau once said, “disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” In Rob Reiner’s film “A Few Good Men,” two obedient marines were inaccurately convicted of conduct unbecoming of a United States Marine. In the middle of the night, Harold Dawson and Louden Downey, entered the barracks of William Santiago. Dawson and Downey issued a code red to Santiago, exacerbating a condition and causing him to die of Lactic Acidosis (A Few Good Men). Dawson and Downey were issued the code red by their commanding officer Nathan Jessup. Like all other marines indubitably, Dawson and Downey carried out their orders without fail. Many can argue that a marine’s job to stand up for those who are not equipped to stand …show more content…
According to Dawson, the marines have four main pillars unit, core, God, and country. Whenever a marine starts to fall behind it is the duty of the fellow men in his infantry to make sure he gets back on track. Code reds were a practice that was being performed by the marines for years. Months before the incident, the commander of the Atlantic Fleet implored the practices of code reds to be discontinued. According to Colonel Jessup, “whoever wrote that memo, never faced the Soviet end of a Cuban Ak-47 Assault Rifle” (A Few Good Men). Everyday in GTMO, these marines are putting their lives on the line. Santiago needed to realised his perceived laziness could have been disastrous for the entire unit of marines stationed in Guantanamo. Jessup then goes on to say, “off the records, I tell you it is an invaluable part of close infantry training and if it happens without my knowledge so be it”(A Few Good Men). The main purpose of code red was to build character. Based on the name alone, it can be inferred that code reds were only given in emergency situations. Ironically, Santiago’s medical condition made him a sub-par marine. It can be argued that the practice of code red is a punishable crime but, Dawson and Downey was fighting for their unit, country, and fellow brother. Also, it is Jessup’s job to make sure that his men follow orders from his superiors. Because Jessup did not enforce any type discipline for those already partaking in code reds, Dawson and Downey should not be held liable for orders they were not competent

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