"Flags of Our Fathers" and PTSD in World War II Veterans
A discussion on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in WWII veterans based on the film, "Flags of Our Fathers", directed by Clint Eastwood.
# 152412 | 1,253 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2013 |
Published on Feb 07, 2013 in Psychology (Disorders) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , History (U.S. World Wars)
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The paper relates that because World War II is called 'the good war' or 'the just war,' cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of the conflict have received less attention than cases of PTSD stemming from the Vietnam War. The paper looks at the film "Flags of Our Fathers" and how it addresses the problems of PTSD in the Americans who survived Iwo Jima. The paper relates that these soldiers were lauded as heroes, especially the six men who were immortalized planting the flag on top of Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945, but explains that in addition to the trauma of a bloody war, these men were used as uncomplicated symbols of a good war, and this was a second trauma from which they never recovered. The paper emphasizes how as symbols, all of them men were silenced from taking about the real, messy feelings behind surviving their experiences, and this was a direct cause for their struggles with PTSD.
From the Paper:"The anonymous nature of the photograph was what made it so compelling, at a time when support for the war was flagging in the hearts of a weary American public. "When the picture became widely circulated back home, the fact that you couldn't identify the faces was part of the point: Parents who'd lost sons in the battle longed to believe they were seeing their own child...those unreadable faces - faces that managed to say, with shadows, everything that could rationally be said about war - became a blank they could fill in, a receptacle for grief and for hope" (Zacharek 2006). The men in the photograph became symbolic of the suffering of wartime, but the problem was that these individuals were real human beings, not symbols at all, although they were rendered into popular images for the purposes of American propaganda. The traumatic effects of war were suffered upon them twice: first, the conflict was far more bloody than anyone could ever have anticipated, and secondly the psychological effects upon the men of using them as uncomplicated symbols of a good war was a second trauma from which they never recovered (Zacharek 2006)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Atkinson, Roland. "Post-combat PTSD in the movies." Clinical Psychiatry News. December 2006. May 10, 2010. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4345/is_12_34/ai_n29316898/
- Bradshaw, Peter. "Flags of Our Fathers." Review. The Guardian. December 22, 2006.http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2006/dec/22/drama.actionandadventure
- Ebert, Robert. "Flags of Our Fathers." Review. The Chicago-Sun Times. 2007.May 10, 2010.http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/REVIEWS/71129001/1023
- French, Phillip. "Flags of Our Fathers." Review. The Guardian. December 24, 2006.May 10, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2006/dec/24/actionandadventure
- Zacharek, Stephanie. "Flags of Our Fathers." Review. Salon.com. October 20, 2006.May 10, 2010. http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/review/2006/10/20/flags/index.html?CP=IMD&DN=110
Cite this Term Paper:
"Flags of Our Fathers" and PTSD in World War II Veterans (2013, February 07) Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/flags-of-our-fathers-and-ptsd-in-world-war-ii-veterans-152412/
""Flags of Our Fathers" and PTSD in World War II Veterans" 07 February 2013. Web. 25 October. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/flags-of-our-fathers-and-ptsd-in-world-war-ii-veterans-152412/>