Full Metal Jacket
War brings out the worst of us. It turns innocent people into men of arms, soldiers, and murderers. It destroys morality, wipes out an entire culture, and tears families apart. War is something human beings can’t help but meddle with, sometimes not even knowing why they are fighting for, or what is their cause. It changes people from inside out, either transforming them to blood-thirsty soldiers, or breaking their minds, driving them beyond reason. The one positive aspect of war, though, is the camaraderie and brotherhood that sparks between the men of a unit in its midst. “Full Metal Jacket” is the perfect example of both the negative and positive aspects of a war, perfectly depicting all the psychological tests men are put through under the stress of it, and how some of them fight to keep their humanity.
“Full Metal Jacket” in an anti-war film. It stares straight at the ugliness of war and the potential for violence within almost every human being, especially those who were trained, conditioned, and even twisted into military roles. The film starts at Gunnery Sergeant Hartman’s Boot Camp on Paris Island during the Vietnam War. There, this type A personality man motivates his platoon by ceaselessly insulting and demeaning them, giving them abusive nicknames. A pragmatic recruit who talks behind his back becomes “Joker.” A Texas recruit becomes “Cowboy.” And a slow-witted recruit with no intelligence or ambition becomes “Gomer Pyle.” It seems as if this man needs to inspire fear in the men he is training to obtain respect and have his orders followed. There is, however, one specific soldier who is the constant subject of Hartman’s brutality.
Gomer Pyle is the overweight boy of the group, and he constantly fails to keep up with the other more physically fit recruits in the grueling obstacle courses of Paris Island. He is a soft, good-natured kid that wants to be a Marine. It is obvious that he lacks the...