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

Authors Avatar

Q1. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular song?

In the following extended answer I intend to scrutinize the opposition to the Vietnam War. With the use of contemporary literature, film and popular song I am hopeful that I can express to you how these materials had quite a radical effect on the people’s opinion.

     To begin, we must take into consideration the initial public opinion and contemporary sources on the war on the war in it’s originate. The people of America were continually being warned by their leaders that communism was a serious threat to their country. Numerous foreign policies against communist ideology like containment and the Trumine doctrine high-lighted this fear. So it was no great surprise that public opinion was fairly in favour of the war when Johnson announced it after the bombing of an American ship off the gulf of Tonkin in 1965. In fact most contemporary material at that time was actually supportive of the war and its authors did not want to sound unpatriotic by condemning the conflict. For example the film “The Green Berets,” released in 1968, before the opposition began to swell, was mainly a pro-war film which influenced people by reinforcing their patriotism. It was indeed a Propaganda film – popular actors like John Wayne had roles in these films to help gain the public support. However as you are about to read this was to change, dramatically.

     As the late 60’s approached it became known as the “flower Power” era. It encouraged love and peace, among other things, so as I’m sure you can imagine the Vietnamese war was diverse from this trend. Opinion began to change. In the beginning some people described the change in mood as unpatriotic, however on the 27th of June 1969 ‘Life’ magazine published photos of 242 American soldiers killed during the previous week. American people were quite taken aback, it highlighted the shear death toll of such young Americans. It increased opposition to the war and wiped out most traces of the thought that being against the war was unpatriotic.

Join now!

  The draft law was also largely exploited by the media, one such contemporary cartoon showed American children being forced to sign the draft law while President Johnson supervises them with a jeering grin. This draft law created a lot of controversy as well, many people argued that the senator’s sons didn’t seem to be affected by the dreaded draft law.    

     Contemporary film changed as well, the film ‘In the Year of the Pig’ was strongly anti-war. It contained scenes of American soldiers being carried off the battle field legless and bloody to the theme ...

This is a preview of the whole essay