• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is the military presented in Full Metal Jacket?

Extracts from this document...


How is the military presented in the opening scenes of Full Metal Jacket? Full Metal Jacket is a war film based on the novel The Short Timers by Gustav Hasford. The film follows a squad of U.S Marines from their basic training through their participation in the Vietnam War. At the very beginning of the film we are introduced to the new recruits of the United States Marine Corps who await the beginning of their basic training. We are also introduced at this time to the drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. From the very first shots we can recognise that the drill instructor is superior to the recruits as he is wearing full uniform, hat and has a number of badges on his jacket, highlighting his achievements and experience. This presents the military as having a hierarchy and that men have power over others. The drill sergeant is foul mouthed and throughout this opening sequence shouts and screams at the recruits 'welcoming' them to the U.S Marines. ...read more.


Gunner Sergeant Hartman gives some of the recruits nicknames. The protagonist of the movie is nicknamed 'Joker' after attempting to make a joke during the opening scene. An overweight recruit is named 'Gomer Pyle' and a recruit from Texas is named 'Cowboy' because of his origin. Having these nicknames shows that the military takes away everything the young men had and dehumanises them, they now don't even have the names they were given, in essence they are reborn as soldiers. The drill sergeant is tyrannical and repellent, his language is just one example of this, but we can gain more from what he says. "I'm Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor, from now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and the last word out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir". Do you maggots understand that?! They are further dehumanised through is words, calling them 'maggots' and calling their mouths 'dirty sewers' this further presents the military as a conveyer belt taking a blank slate and turning it into a killing machine. ...read more.


In the opening scene alone he punches a recruit and strangles another, not something you would expect of other professions. But the military is not portrayed as a profession in these scenes; it is shown as a new life. They are now property of the U.S Army, "If you survive recruit training you will be a weapon", this shows that the training will mould the recruits into weapons, further dehumanising them. Finally the military is presented as efficient. Everything is as it should be, everyone has immaculate uniforms and the same shaven hair style, and they all stand in the same upright position giving the same answers in the same way. The beds are all neatly made in the same fashion and the floors are perfectly clean highlights the way that the military is disciplined and that everyone and everything must be precise in order to force this discipline. The only thing that separates the men is their names, but for some even these are replaced. In conclusion, the opening scenes of Full Metal Jacket present the military as disciplined, mundane, repetitive, dehumanising, aggressive and that it is a mechanical environment, where everything is ordered. Dom Ansell L6P ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work