Saturday, November 24, 2007

Heroes and Casualties of War

In preparation for the upcoming paper assignment, I came across this article that might be useful for people doing the Kovic/Hearts and Minds essay. It’s worth reading since it highlights some of the central themes of Kovic's novel while addressing the war in Iraq. I would recommend that anyone doing this essay should pay attention to the fact that Kovic’s contemporary perspective in this article may not necessarily parallel his point of view within the context of Born on the Fourth of July. However, the article does compliment the novel about many of the themes we reviewed in class, particularly the conflicts faced by veterans as a result of wars, government injustice, and what it means to be a patriot.

Something that was brought up in class that might also be of interest to those who appreciated Born on the Fourth of July is Dalton Trumbo’s anti-war piece Johnny Got His Gun. The novel follows the life and memories of a WWI soldier who has lost his arms, legs, and face in combat, and must come to terms with his almost completely vegetative state. The book would later become the inspiration for the Metallica song, “One,” from arguably their most political album …And Justice for All. The music video contains several scenes from the film adaptation which Trumbo wrote the screenplay for and directed himself. Recent editions of the novel contain an introduction by Ron Kovic himself, parts of which can be read here.

--Lucas Hoeffel

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