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

"Both 'The Deer Hunter' and 'Apocalypse Now' are less interested in capturing the historical reality of the Vietnam War than in providing alibis for America's actions and salves for a wounded nation." Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Both 'The Deer Hunter' and 'Apocalypse Now' are less interested in capturing the historical reality of the Vietnam War than in providing alibis for America's actions and salves for a wounded nation." Do you agree? 'The Deer Hunter' and 'Apocalypse Now' are two films which deal, at a very personal level, with American involvement in the Vietnam War. Although the style and narrative of each film are quite different a strong theme of 'journeys' is what binds the two films together, perhaps more so than the theme of the Vietnam War itself. These are journeys of self-discovery and self-destruction and in the sense that the central characters' ideals become twisted by war and their value of life itself diminished. It is possible to claim that these films provide 'salves for a wounded nation'. In each film the extreme slaughter of war is confined to symbolic set pieces, for example, the helicopter attack in 'Apocalypse Now' or the Russian Roulette scene in 'The Deer Hunter', and the focus instead is placed upon the damage caused to the individual himself. These are personal journeys about war and the damage war is capable of inflicting. In the case of 'Apocalypse Now', Colonel Willard travels deep into the jungle but the real journey, based upon Conrad's book 'The Heart of Darkness', shows us ...read more.

Middle

Another incident that happens during 'Apocalypse Now' shows the viewer that the Americans have no mercy in comparison to the Vietnamese. When Willard's boat is ambushed, the Vietnamese fire burning sticks in their direction but one of the crew notices that they are blunt and therefore, not meant to kill the Americans but, only to warn them away. On the other hand, the Americans go into the war with a mind only to kill and devastate. There is one scene in particular in 'Apocalypse Now' which shows us what Francis Ford Coppola thought about America's covering up of the true events of the war. When the soldiers are in battle, there are camera men filming the events but directing the soldiers at the same time. Back home, the aim would be to make them look heroic and noble. It would appear, from that, that the war was all going to plan but, in fact, the Americans were deliberately covering up the truth about all the deaths and the trauma of the men fighting - mentally and physically. The truth was that the Americans outnumbered the Vietnamese massively in both men and in fire-power but were still struggling. As a result, they are lying to cover this up. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe this is because he has seen the capability of man to do evil and it has shocked him. However, animals are innocent and cannot do evil so he cannot bring himself to kill something that has done no wrong. In 'The Deer Hunter', Russian Roulette is a recurring theme. It shows us how fragile and breakable life actual is. It is clear that Michael does not dread getting shot. He sees it as an excuse to instantly save him from his post-war life in which he feel dejected and outcast. He wants to be put out of his misery and knows that, should he continue to play, his death is inevitable. Another similarity to 'Apocalypse Now' is that, by the closing stages of the book, Kurtz and Michael are both already dead on the inside. They both appear emotionless and detached from the rest of the world. Overall, it is my opinion that both 'Apocalypse Now' and 'The Deer Hunter' are, to a large extent, interested in capturing the historical reality of the Vietnamese War. They are both illustrating to us the affect war has at an individual level. As all the commotion of war is captured on a personal level, however, it is hard to assume that the films were seeking to provide alibis on behalf of America. Sam Irving English Coursework 30.03.05 ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Moon Landing: Conspiracy or Reality?

    However, the analysis of the political background is not enough to support the conspiracy theory; knowing this, the conspiracy theorist have other "evidence". On the 15th of February, 2001, Fox TV network aired a program called "Conspiracy Theory: Did we land on the moon?"

  2. United Nations: The Wounded Dove

    The UN is an outdated organization, which no country seems to take seriously, not even the countries that created its charters. This is because it is full of people who only care about being members of the organization and receiving large amount money for working within the UN.

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    In 1814, however, an invading army from Canada was repelled. Then, just as a peace treaty was being concluded in Ghent (Belgium), Andrew JACKSON crushed another invading British army as it sought to take New Orleans. The war thus ended on a triumphant note, and the republic was confirmed.

  2. "The deer Hunter" by E. M. Corder - book review

    So for the last time in their home town they all seem to have a pretty nice time The Jungle 1970 In book two you start right in the middle of the Vietnam war where Michael is lying on the ground pretending to be dead because everyone on his side

  1. The Avro Arrow.

    It is, nonetheless, suspicious that, just as with the Arrow, all existing units of the Jetliner, as well as all blueprints and technical specifications, were destroyed. In the immediate post-war years it became evident ". . . that the Soviets were no longer our allies."3 and ".

  2. Dtente, meaning and definition.

    The existing alliances were to continue but there were provisions for peaceful alterations of borders, unrestricted flow of ideas and movement of peoples and more cooperation in the economic field. These friendly ties between the two powers were not only getting stronger on the surface of this world rather this

  1. Custer - Hero or villain?

    The Battle: Below is a summary of the main facts about the battle of Little Bighorn: * General Alfred Terry, who was responsible for this particular campaign against the Indians, did not want the leaders of the tribe to escape.

  2. The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now

    The lifestyles of many soldiers had been greatly affected by Vietnam and it had no longer been a secret. Essentially, The Deer Hunter main aim was to display this feeling that the American public shared that the war was destructive in all senses.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work