Books and Movies Reviews

Analysis: Born on the Fourth of July

The idyllic 1950’s to the turbulent 1960’s represented a dynamic shift in American culture.The end of World War II prompted a boom economy and the American dream of a your own house with the white picket fence was born. Although the 50’s were picturesque in some respect the end of WWII entrenched a deep fear of Communism.As America entered Vietnam the conservative ideals of the WWII generation clashed with the rising student and youth awareness. The movie, Born on The Fourth of July, represents a modern view of the Vietnam War era and the transformation that occurred through out the country with varying degrees of historical accuracy.
The opening scene of the movie pictures the mood of the country in the mid to late fifties. It romanticizes war with the parade scene and the kids playing army. This plays on the theme that some war is good, or at least justifiable. Kovic, the main character of the film, is a patrotic person wanting to serve his country and believing that Vietnam would be his chance.As Kovic and his friends discuss entertaining the Marines the ideas of containment and the domino theory are discussed. The ideas of the McCarthy age shines through when Kovic bluntly states that Communism needs to be stopped because they are moving into every place. The movie does to a certain respect portray the attitudes of the nation as it entered into the Vietnam War. It emphasizes that America had not lost a war, that American;s, as a whole feared communist encroachment.Although the Mikie Mantle baseball and apple pie notion does tend to over dramatize the “quaintness” of the times. America was a nation in an arms race with nuclear weapons and although that might not have been everyone;s dinner conversation, the threat was real.
The portrayal of the War itself was flawed and completely one sided.Thefirst time that Kovic is introduced as a Marine he is on his second tour. One of the war scenes showed the Marine…


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