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Accelerating Student Learning and Motivation in Your U.S. History Classroom

Platoon Video Questions

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Platoon

A film by Oliver Stone

 

1.  Taylor (as narrator) says this as they approach the village scene intended to be reminiscent of My Lai:  “The village, which had stood for maybe a thousand years, didn't know we were coming that day. If they had, they would've run. Barnes was the eye of our rage. And through him, our captain Ahab, we would set things right again. That day we loved him."

 

Why were the men full of rage, and why did Barnes need to “set things right again”?  How did Barnes “set things right again”?

 

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2.  How and why did Barnes ultimately deal with Elias? 

 

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3.  Name three examples from the film Platoon, which illustrate the difficulties faced by soldiers in fighting the Vietnam War.

 

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4.  At the end of the film, Taylor says “The war is over for me now, but it will always be there the rest of my days. As I am sure Elias will be - fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since I have felt like the child born of those two fathers."  Is this fair – was Taylor influenced by both Barnes and Elias?  Give examples.

 

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5.  What do you think Taylor meant by the following quote – the last line of the entire film?

 

“But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.”

 

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