The Movie "Born on the Fourth of July" Tells Much About The Vietnam War and the Cold War

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Born on the Fourth of July was a very captivating and powerful film that will have a lasting effect on me. Oliver Stone, who won the 1989 Best Director Oscar for the film, also wrote, and produced it. He tells the true story of Ron Kovic, an American kid from Massapequa, Long Island that fought in the Vietnam War, who is played by Tom Cruise. It also stars Kyra Segwick, Raymond J. Barry, William Dafoe, and Frank Whaley. This film accurately illustrates not only what went on for the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and the effects that the war had at home, but also the social attitudes throughout the country during the 1950s and other major movements during the time of the war, that like the anti-war sentiment, were largely a response to the pressures of the 1950s. A lot was changing in America during this time (1960's), and the movie accurately displays these changes as well as Americans like Ron Kovik that were stuck in the middle of this transition period. Born on the Fourth of July uses the true story of one American symbolically to portray the attitudes of most Americans that motivated us to fight in the war, the effects of the differences between the ideals and expectations of the war and the realities of the war, the way the negative American feelings on the war merged with several other rebellious American feelings, and the lasting effects in America resulting from the war.

The reasons that Americans were motivated to fight the war was because of the feelings on Communism throughout American society, the attitudes of the 1950's, and the fact that there was a common belief among American citizens that we could beat anybody in war, especially a tiny country like North Vietnam which most Americans had never even hear...

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The war fueled some rebellions to aspects of American society that resulted in positive accomplishments; such as Civil Rights, the Student Movement, and the Women's Movement. All of those movements all dealt with Vietnam as one of their issues (some more than others). However, another impact that was made was that American society had been very divided. An example is the separation that was created between two sets of families illustrated in a video clip we saw in class. These two families had been very close friends until the war started and they took different views of the war. This disagreement was enough to end their friendship. The final effect on American society, was that America had lost a war for the first time in history. This was a true wake-up call for most Americans that should probably be viewed as an important lesson. We are not immortal.

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