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

How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular song?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Coursework How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular song? Literature: During the Vietnam War, so many people were opposed to it they began to write articles and stories to address their community and fellow Americans. They tried to express their views on America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Most of the middle classed youths were destined to be drafted and through these articles and stories they tried to sway the public opinion. In the early seventies they began to make pamphlets and magazines, which contained pictures and information about the young men at war who had lost their lives in the conflict. These radical youths were most definitely biased, they didn't believe in showing both sides of the argument, as it was these children who were going to suffer at the end of it all. However, apart from these radical youths, there were the newspapers. These newspapers still wanted to keep patriotism alive within America, so they were highly conservative, supporting the war and every move America made. Any tactics or information about the war the government released these newspapers supported because it was the government kept them employed. Although the newspapers were conservative, there was a new form of "news" to hit America, a magazine called "Life". It was introduced to the public in 1969 and its contents stunned the American civilians into antiwar protests. It was an anti-war magazine, but it didn't force people to oppose it, it gave them the choice. However it did manage to sway most Americans opinion by showing pictures of almost 250 young men who had been killed in Vietnam including the 46 who had been killed at "Hamburger Hill" that previous week. These men were Americans, and what shocked those back home was that they were normal Americans, no younger nor older than their own children. The "flower power" generation were overwhelmed and shocked as they based their ideals on peace, love and harmony. ...read more.

Middle

"My Name is David Mitchell, I am twenty two years old, I refuse to fight in Vietnam, and that's a crime, I'm told. I refuse to kill in Vietnam Good folks like my own, And I know I'm in the right, judge, And I don't stand alone. The U. S. judge in Nuremberg Who judged the Nazi crimes Said killing's just as bad a sin When it's done six million times, I wouldn't do it once, judge, I never could atone, And I know I'm in the right, judge, And I don't stand alone. I saw the moving pictures of homes in napalm flames, I saw men burning children, Men with American names. To fly those wicked missions, I'd never leave my home, And I know I'm in the right, judge, And I don't stand alone. They dragged me in this courtroom 'Cause I won't play their game, I won't burn peaceful villages, won't torture, gas, or maim. Thou shalt not kill, the Lord said, that's what I learned at home, and I know I'm in the right, judge, And I don't stand alone." Conclusion: In conclusion we can see that at the beginning of the Vietnam War there was a large majority who supported it. This was known as the natural nationalism and patriotism experienced by the American public. Literature and media were also in favour of this war aswell. They tried their best to stay conservative in fear of upsetting the public and risk their careers. However this was short lived and sooner or later the public was destined to see the truth of the war. Unfortunatley for the American government it came sooner. Opposition continued to grow through music, media and the constant increase in the figures of the death toll. Music had the most influence on this shift in opinion as it was an important mode of communication at that time. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is contrasted to Johnsons idea of a quick and easy war. If johnsons speech was true then why the need to send so many people into the war. It was only after 1969 that america began to reduce the amount of men fighting and not because of the success rate, that they didn't need to send such numbers, but because there was a change of policy- the vietnamisation. This evidence suggests that vietnam was not as fourth rate and raggedy ass as Johnson had so kindly put. Source E contradicts the view of Johnsons statement aswell. We first see this in the title of the illustration " Victorys just around the corner" complimented by the faces of five presidents. Already suggesting ans sarcastically exclaiming that if war is just around the corner, why did it take ten years and five presidencys to resolve. This caption was used dileberatly as most knew what the outcome of the war was and that it was not "just around the corner".It was published in 1975 just after the last troops were withdrew from the war. This is where the cartoonist has and uses his benefit of Hindsight. By using this caption as he does demonstrates that the promise of each President to end the war and the expectation of Americas population had been false. Although Johnson stated that vietnam wasn't worthy of fighting america the cartoonist illustrated the fact that the war had been dragged through five preidencys, each believing that they had what it took to end the war and that the end would be soon. This victory was not around the corner and was not even achieved. Therefore we can see that these sources contradict Johnsons views on the "fourth rate, raggedy ass little county" which was vietnam. This was the small country who managed to force america to withdraw their men and efforts from the war. ...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. Do the Writings of Clausewitz have contemporary relevance?

    Others have maintained that nuclear weaponry, trans-national constabulary warfare, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotrafficking... have rendered obsolete Clausewitz's definition of war as an act of policy".14 I believe though that his views are still relevant, in that once a war has begun it should be fought aggressively until its logical conclusion, however unlike

  2. What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in ...

    was successful as it reached a wider audience than soldiers' letters home did. Source L demonstrates that the USA was becoming arrogant and that the USA was trying to force its ideas and products on other countries, in particular Vietnam.

  1. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    The atom bomb, Henry Stimson warned Truman in the fall of 1945, would dominate America's relations with Russia. "If we fail to approach them now and continue to negotiate with .

  2. American History.

    From the 1820s on, the movement also began targeting immigrants and? Catholics as the source of the problem - most Catholics favored self-control over state laws. Penitentiaries and Asylums - state institutions to hold criminals began? w/good intentions [rehabilitate them], but they soon became overcrowded and inhumane.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    In both places, clashes were instigated by skirmishes between armed individuals. By then, tension was so high that even the slightest verbal exchange between two armed individuals was sufficient to provoke violence which would quickly spread to various parts of the country.

  2. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular ...

    that Vietnam was never a threat to them and the flippant mention of napalm is included to highlight the U.S.'s frivolous use of something so dangerous and harmful, a substance which they downplayed. The climax of the song is a blatant use of obscene satire and is completely insensitive to the damage down to both American and Vietnamese soldiers.

  1. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    "We were not strong enough to drive out half a million American troops, but that was not our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American Government to continue the War." Giap, Military Commander of North Vietnam.

  2. The Vietnam War – G.C.S.E. History Coursework

    lucky and that the real heroes were at Vietnam on the front. Source 15 also supports Haggard. It states that the sheer image that the AWM projected of itself put people off supporting it and there for encouraged support for the war. Sources 5,10 and 15 challenge Haggard's view however.

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