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Kendra Elm Saving Private Ryan and Postwar Memory in America

The article I read was titled Saving Private Ryan and Postwar Memory in America. It was written by John Bodnar and made very interesting connections between what happened in World War II and how those effects were scene at home and in war movies. One of the author’s main points was that films were one of the only ways that real wartime emotions were scene. This is true because the government put all kinds of rules and regulations on things after the war, but films like Saving Private Ryan showed how difficult wartime was, and how strong the men were who came home after it.

Many of the men returned with psychological problems, and in previous times it was thought that the men who broke down after a traumatic event were not manly. It was shown in his article that the way we get over a severe trauma is by forgetting about it and moving on, and then later it will come back to us. This is a very interesting aspect about post war America. As soon as the war ended things seemed to be great there were no real regrets and people were just pleased to be home and to have won. We begin to see later on, after a few years, what a devastating effect all the killing had on the men.

The author also talks about how the scenes in the film had an effect on the public. One thing he mentions is the design of the military cemetery. It is filled with rows and rows of white gravestones which when seen remind us of the tremendous amount of people who gave their lives for the country. Another scene he mentions is the famous opening scene on the beach. It gave hints of how bloodthirsty humans are, and that wartime is cruel. I’m not sure this is what the OWI had in mind when they put restrictions on film making but the overall message of the film was bravery of the soldiers and success of the American troops.