Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No Riskiness in War??

"He takes risks but experiences nothing of their riskiness: a Vietnam with no Vietnamese, capitalism with no workers, and profit at a distance both from production and exploitation" (Berlant 183).
Berlant, Lauren. "On Being Normal, Average, Common, Ordinary, Standard, Typical, and Usual in Contemporary America." The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997. 180-87.

Looking at Berlant's article, this particular passage is one that stuck out to me the most. We touched on it in class on Tuesday, but I would like to discuss it a bit further. When discussing what Berlant mentions above, some disagreed that Forest "experiences nothing of their riskiness." I agree with this notion that he DOES experience the riskiness of the risks he takes. The most obvious point in the film where this occurs is when he is in Vietnam. Berlant goes on to mention a Vietnam with no Vietnamese, but if that was the case then whose gunfire is Forest running from. He is dodging bullets to save his friends and Berlant still says he is experiencing none of the riskiness. I strongly disagree. By going back to save some of his closest friends after they had been wounded in war I find it hard to say that he experiences no riskiness. Not to mention the fire he has to dodge himself in order to stay safe and free from harm. Not to mention he does end up getting shot himself. I believe that no matter what way the soldiers of Vietnam served their country they experienced the riskiness of the risks they were taking. I found it very hard to agree with this notion that Berlant presents. The movie could be looked at as centered around the Vietnam War and the experiences that Forest encounters there. A movie centered around war makes it tough to say that the characters in it take risks but experience none of their riskiness.

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