As defined by the dictionary, honor is a high respect that is earned through deeds and reputation. But, what is honor, and how does one receive it? Honor is like many things that are hard to put into words. Along with that, honor can be totally different, depending on your perspective. In the play, A Few Good Men, there is a central theme based around honor, who is doing right and who is doing wrong.
The definitions of honor accepted by each person are so outstandingly conflicting that the play analyzes what honor is and at what cost is honor worth obtaining. To the lawyers, honor is a punch line. To the marines at Gitmo it is a necessity to survive. To the commanding officer, Colonel Jessup, it is authorization for the strong to exploit the weak so that in his mind he can protect Americans. Lieutenant Kendrick uses honor as a cover for narrow-mindedness and pride. Honor is thought of in many different ways, but what do the Marine Corps say about honor? “A code of personal integrity, honor guides those who do the right thing when no one is looking. It is not only a duty, but also a distinction, as those who possess honor are held in honor. It's found in one's beliefs, but exhibited through one's actions. Marines are held to the highest of standards, ethically and morally. Marines are expected to act responsibly in a manner befitting the title they've earned.”
The victim in the play, Pfc. William Santiago, was a screw-up. At Guantanamo Bay, screw-ups aren’t tolerated, especially by Col. Jessup. Santiago wanted to leave Gitmo because he wasn’t fit enough and others were bullying him. Jessup would not let him leave though. He was committed at all costs to make Santiago into a good marine so that he could “defend the nation.” This is an important part of the play, because how Jessup sees defending the nations and how others’ see defending the nation are two completely different views. Jessup ordered two marines to give Santiago a Code RED. They gagged Santiago...
Cited: "Semper Fidelis - Semper Fi." Marines.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://www.marines.com/history-heritage/principles-values>.
Sorkin, Aaron. A Few Good Men. New York: S. French, 1990. Print.
WriteWork contributors. "What is honor? An essay suitable for applications." WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 24 March, 2003. Web. 25 Nov. 2012.
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