Article: article from journal or magazin.
Militarism and Melodrama: The Cultural Work of Combat Death
Anglia. Journal of English Philology / Zeitschrift für englische Philologie
This essay examines the role of melodrama in the American war film, focusing on three post-WWII examples. The main argument centers on the natural alliance between melodrama and militarism based on a shared intolerance for the notion of death as meaningless and in vain. Both melodrama and military ideology employ elaborate rhetorical and narrative strategies to enfold deaths into larger systems of meaning, such as the nation, or in more personal terms, as a rite of passage. One of the most common narrative devices present in the military melodrama is the death that converts survivors to the values of the virtuous victim. The essay examines the shared conventions and different strategies of the following three films: Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Platoon (1986), and Top Gun (1986).
melodrama, militarism, war film, civil religion,, Sands of Iwo Jima, Top Gun, Platoon
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