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Religion is a canopy under which American culture and society thrives Its extension reaches the boundaries of such cultural mainstreams as movies television and music Oliver Stones 1986 war film Platoon is an example of the religious subtleties and overtones that appear in various American genres Stone not only uses religious themes to portray the Vietnam War but manipulates the war to show the decadence of American society Throughout history man has traveled the world and conquered nations in order to force one religion on another America was founded by Spains attempt to spread Christianity to the new world Although Spain was the most powerful nation at the time their attempt to spread Christianity on less civilized people came to a fatal end due to the explorers detrimental actions The movie Platoon reenacts this theme in a modern true life event After World War II America demonstrated itself to be arguably the most powerful nation When communism threatened Vietnam America acted to defend its democratic belief by sending troops over to thwart the communist attempts Stone uses the war to portray the failed attempt due to the exploits of the American soldiers In one scene Barnes Tom Berenger and Bunny Kevin Dillon mercilessly kill several innocent villagers Later in the same scene some soldiers are caught raping a village woman The actions taken by the soldiers are Stones comparison to the Spanish explorers actions which finally led to both nations failed expeditions To add depth to his religious allegories Stone not only uses historical references but opens it to Biblical contexts as well According to the Bible the garden of Eden is a paradise often pictured in a jungle-like atmosphere In Platoon Stone uses the jungles of Vietnam to represent the mystic garden of Eden Stones underlying intent is to parallel the fall of man with American destruction in the Vietnamese jungle When Adam and Eve committed mans first
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