American Values Portrayed in Stripes

Essay by jericaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2003

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America is interesting. It captures the imagination and attention of the world but almost all of the attention it receives is negative. A gas guzzling, beer drinking, loud, and highly violent culture are some of the more common attributes dumped on America. It is the mass murders, militia standoffs, and government scandals that make the foreign press headlines. Asia feels we are lazy and bloated with success. France thinks we are un-cultured, and most of the third world views us as intrusion bullies. Even the United Nations are beginning to despise our power. The soldiers in the movie Stripes portrays this image clearly. But not much changes in the way America is involved with the affairs of the rest of the world. We are despised but accepted and so were the soldiers. The rest of the world has no choice, they cannot deny us because we are key to their survival and they know it.

Moral purity and the golden rule attitude are also considered a basic tenet of being a good American. However, these values can easily be replaced with hard work, dedication, success, and ultimately public recognition. The soldiers accomplished this after Sgt. Hulka "blew up". In the mind of Americans and my own towards the movie Stripes, these qualities can effectively override the moral purity qualifications. The soldiers and people such as the great tycoons Rockefeller, and Trump did this. Or even some of our presidents, namely Nixon. They swindled, stole, cheated and downright stepped on the backs of others to reach their positions. At all times they certainly did not practice ethical business practices to achieve their stature. However, their stature is not diminished much because of how they achieved their greatness. Twenty five years later, President Nixon is eulogized as a great...