American Literature 2138 ENGL 2329-018

I decided to choose “A Few Good Men” and I linked the most memorable and quotable part of the movie to this blog. Navy lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee is assigned to defend two marines, Pfc. Louden Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson, who are accused of the murder of Pfc. William Santiago the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The case goes to court and Dawson and Downey revealed that Santiago died in the midst of a hazing ritual known as “Code Red” after he threatened to inform higher authorities that Dawson opened fire on a Cuban watchtower. The “code red” was also performed under the orders of Lt. Jonathon Kendrick, Col. Nathan Jessup denies any knowledge of the order to torture Santiago, but when Lt. Col. Matthew Markinson confides to Kaffee that Jessup demanded the “code red” for violating his order of silence. Kaffee and Galloway have to find a way to prove this to the court. Sorkin, the writer of the play that was the first hit before it was made into a movie started writing when his sister got a three year law job offer with the Navy. Sorkin wants the audience to think about how the military and war can affect the people involved and how they can question their very own. Sorkin also wanted the audience to see that the branches can unite to help. Dawson and Downey were represented by a Navy lawyer who stood for what was right and defended them in every way possible so in ways Sorkin wanted to also show that at the end of the day all the branches are a part of the military. The audience can also feel sympathy for Downey and Dawson because they take their job seriously and want to obey orders, but at the end of the movie they are charged for being involved in Santiago’s murder and are kicked out of the Marines. Pfc. Downey did not understand why they were charged and lost their position and they explained that they did not do their job, they did not withhold the trust that their fellow Americans and troops instill in each other. Sorkin also wants the audience to believe that the military is not so heartless and when Santiago did die it hurt so many other troops that it proves that these soldiers have to overcome so many struggles as they grow throughout the military. A Few Good Men is very convincing when it comes to its audience and pertaining to war. At first, just “code red” can be so convincing to the audience that it makes it hard to understand what the underlying problem is. A code red is a serious term in military language, so why wouldn’t it be taken seriously in any form in which it was given? It comes across as effective because of the way the Navy lawyer does not understand the Marines and why they followed the code red even though it was not given/heard by a specific Colonel. Sorkin draws the audience’s attention in by releasing information to help bring justice to Santiago, but then by killing himself shows the struggles of what military men and women go through for their fellow soldiers. This film shows its art and connection to the military and soldiers through showing how they sympathize with each other and how they too, struggle with the same difficulties as every day people. The same guilt, worry and dread is what they all faced through the trials. The trial forced the audience to understand what men and women face in the military every day besides what the usual stereotype is: men and women in camouflage with large machinery used to kill some innocent and some not so innocent men and women from foreign countries.