Born On The Fourth Of July Analysis

Topics: World War I, Psychological trauma, Combat stress reaction Pages: 7 (1505 words) Published: December 10, 2015


The thirty-fifth President of the United States, John F. Kennedy once said, “Mankind must put an end to war—or war will put an end to mankind.” President Kennedy refers to the effects of war may destroy man’s morals, ideals, society, and both physicality and psychology of man. Since the beginning of time, man has engaged in conflicts with one another, resulting in not only the physical effects, but the psychological effects. Combat veterans are commonly at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder. The First World War changed everything; one of the changes was shell shock and combat stress. Combat stress is a reaction known to precurse PTSD and historically linked to shell shock. All wars have their affects, both civilians and combatants have...

PTSD sufferers may experience, recurring flashbacks, avoiding any mentioning of the incident or anything that relates to it, and hyperarousal. People who have experienced combat-based trauma like veterans are known to have a higher chance to develop PTSD in contrast to those who have not experienced combat based trauma. Ron Kovic, a Vietnam War veteran who sacrificed much in his service in Southeast Asia wrote the novel Born on the Fourth of July, it states, "July fourth, nineteen forty-six. I was born on the Fourth of July. I can't feel...” (Kovic, 1976). Like many veterans, Kovic is haunted by mentioning of the war that reminds him of the experience and cannot feel the same about talking to one about Southeast Asia to cherish his birthday as he used to. For example, many veterans suffering from PTSD when hearing a loud crack, such as the crack of fireworks, usually remind them of gunfire, hence they cannot feel the same about fireworks as they used to for it either provides flashbacks of their comrades falling in combat or the entire library of traumatic memories playing through their minds. At least thirty-one percent of Vietnam war veterans, ten percent of Gulf War veterans, and eleven percent of the War in Afghanistan veterans suffer...

Also known as “combat fatigue” or “battle neurosis,” it has overlapped with the diagnoses of civilian stress reactions and is a reaction that includes a range of different behaviors resulting from battlefield stresses that decreases a combatant’s fighting abilities. CSR is historically linked to shell shock and is sometimes considered the forerunner of PTSD. The most common symptoms of CSR include, fatigue, slower reaction times, uncertainty, detachment from one’s surroundings, and inability to understand. CSR is generally a short-term behavior and is usually confused with “acute stress disorder,” PTSD, or other long-term disorders that contribute to combat stress. But any of these disorders may be considered a combat stress. All Quiet on the Western Front by Enrich Maria Remarque is a story of five friends who see the physical and psychological horrors of war; the novel inaugurates almost all disorders of war including PTSD, shell shock, and CSR. One of the five friends named Albert states, “The war ruined us for everything… We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces” (Remarque, 1929). Albert states this after a firefight and reflects upon the war and him....
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