Essay 3 Rough Draft

Submitted By deez999
Words: 1053
Pages: 5

Jack Thiese
December 6, 2013
Eng W 131
Essay 3

The image I have chosen depicts a scene all too recognizable, a soldier’s funeral. This soldier like many soldiers like him paid the ultimate price for risking his life for his country. Most would agree that this makes him a hero. But is this heroism for soldiers making them alienated from society? When someone chooses between their nation and their family their identity changes and slowly alienates them from their peers. In this image of the soldier’s funeral there are three things that catch your eye. All the way on the right you can see the soldier’s casket with a American flag next to it, In the middle of the picture you can see another soldier likely one of the dead soldier’s comrades, and all the way on the left you can see the dead soldiers wife sitting with her head in her hands mourning. This image is very powerful and is a very good example of the choosing between nation and family. In the picture the closest thing to the casket is the American flag. This reminds us of how the soldier choose to protect his nation. The perspective of the camera makes it seem like we are standing behind them at the funeral, it gives us the feeling that we are there. Also you cannot see anyone’s faces in the picture although you know what they are feeling. The atmosphere and the setting makes it possible to know how they are feeling without seeing their faces. The comrade and the woman are also separated because although we probably know how the soldier is feeling is does not show it nearly as much. The woman on the other hand is visible mourning with her head in her hands. This embodies a division and can almost represent two families that the dead soldier has had. On one hand he has his real family that he has had since before he was a soldier. But on the other hand he gained another family in the comrades he fought beside in the war. So while he was at war he gained a second family of other soldiers while alienating himself from his real family. To begin to discuss alienation from identity we have to look into the type of identity a soldier acquires by protecting his country. In his piece “The Thematic Paradigm” Robert Ray discusses the types of heroes in American culture. He points out a few different ones but the two main ones are the outlaw hero and the official hero. An outlaw hero is someone who does not abide by the law and gets things done by their own rules. A good example of an outlaw hero would be batman. An official hero is someone who does abide by the law. Official heroes are people like policemen and soldiers. Ray suggests that the American film culture prefers outlaw heroes to official hero. This may be true when talking about film but when you bring it to real life I believe the most respected hero in our culture is the American soldier. The amount of respect that people deservingly give soldiers is massive. I think it is this amount of respect that puts Soldiers on a different level than us and gives them a separate identity. They are no longer treated like a normal citizen but a soldier. It is this change in Identity that starts the aspect of alienation. Thomas Hine in “Goths in Tomorrow land” discusses the theme of alienation and how different social identities keep people away from each other. The question that needs to be answered is whether a soldier becomes a hero once he enlists, or when he has to sacrifice his life for us. It is troubling to think that a soldier would have to die to become a true hero. But if this is true, death is the most extreme form of alienation. But soldiers who have only enlisted have also been alienated from everyone they know especially their family. They won’t be able to see each other for months and that amount of separation can put a big gap between a