Essay: Analysis of Best Years of Our Lives

Essay: Analysis of Best Years of Our Lives
23/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Analysis of Best Years of Our Lives Academic Papers on English,Sample Academic Papers admin

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This essay is an analysis of the movie best years of our lives.

The movie depicts three World War 2 veterans, a sailor, an air force captain and a sergeant returning to their home town and being received with ample love by their families and townsmen alike. However, the celebrations only last so long as they come to grips with the realities of life, and realize that the qualities they acquired from their respective infantry training do not translate very well into the economically distraught country they fought for.

As a result, Fred, the celebrated captain, finds himself looking for a job and settles on one as a salesman for a meager pay, much less than what he used to get in the army. His wife, although initially glad to meet him, quickly falls into the social stigma of an underpaid husband who may not be able to meet her requirements. She being as social as herself does not adhere to the new found way of life and has difficulty adjusting. This leads to several feuds within the marriage and a feeling of dismay at the hands of Fred, whose ego centric nature makes him refuse a dinner plan with some friends of his wife simply because he does not want a handout. Earlier, he manhandles his wife to keep her from going out to eat and instead prefers to cook for her. These are symbolic gestures in so much as the wife resembling the bourgeoisie and Fred playing the part of the oppressed proletariat.

Fred’s first job as a salesman placed him as an assistant to his former assistant. The first symbolic gesture Fred received while still in transition to being a lay man was in the interview with the manager. The manager, who looked interested in hiring Fred, mentioned rather ungratefully how the war had come to an end, thereby signifying that Fred’s services were a lot more limited now. This, again, felt like a projection of oppressor against the oppressed and Fred was quick to reject the offer initially only to accept it later when no other opportunities surfaced. He could be said to have been forced into making this decision, an element of hegemonic societies where those in power force the labor to work and extract surplus labor out of them. Fred’s wife Marie is a shallow, materialistic woman who is incredibly fond of presentation and only seems to like Fred for the image he portrays as a war veteran. She asks him to wear his uniform when they go out for dinner when he preferred wearing something casual and civilized, such as jacket and pants. Marie represents the materialistic elements of the society who are more concerned with the tangible things of value rather than concentrating on elements that maintain relationships and adjusting to difficult times. This is again in tune with Marx’s theory of the rich forcing the poor to buy things they cannot afford, thereby causing them to be distressed, increasing the gap between the classes and leading to even more hostility. Marie could be deemed a prime example of this.

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