Just as Chris and the platoon are divided between Elias and Barnes, viewers also feel somewhat divided. You feel compelled to side with Elias because he is jaded and righteous and seems to care about his men, but you can't help but admire Barnes' hardiness, his determination to win the war and ability to survive.
After our class discussion about allegory, the Christ figure and Machiavelli, as well as the inability of humans to be purely good or evil, you understand that this is a decision that is not as easy as one might hope.
Imagine that you are a soldier in this platoon. Who do you follow, Sgt. Barnes or Sgt. Elias? Take into consideration all factors: survival, morality, reality of the war environment, psychological effects of the war, constant extreme stress, and any other factors that would affect your decision. Explain your decision in a thoughtful and well supported blog entry (at least 2 full paragraphs).
Once you have posted your blog entry, please respond to a classmate's blog entry. This response should be at least a paragraph in length.
2/25/2013 11:09:32 am
If I was a character in the movie Platoon I feel as though I would personally side on the side of Sgt. Elias. Although Barnes is the "stronger" character and one would have a greater chance of surviving if he/she was on Barnes side, I would still feel compelled to join Elias's side. I would join Elias's side because I feel that morals are more important than anything else. Elias has always keep his morals and the morals of others somewhere in his mind and I respect him for that. I feel that being in the war for so long has had its psychological effects on Barnes but Elias is more clam and centered that Barnes is. What I think makes Elias a better leader that Barnes is that he is more calm and rational than Barnes. He also takes what others say into consideration and gains "followers" not because he is feared but because he is a strong leader.
2/25/2013 01:17:04 pm
well i dot think it's not that barns isn't aware of his surroundings but more like he just doesn't care about his surroundings. He has lived for this long so why should he care he probably feels invincible so he wouldn't care. But I do agree that barns isn't fit to lead because he rules by fear in the eyes of his comrades who should respect him for being a leader not because they are scarred that he could bash there brains in.
2/25/2013 11:47:28 am
If I were a soldier fighting against the Vietnam War and had to follow or look up to either Sgt. Barnes or Sgt. Elias, I would be right behind Sgt. Elias. In many eyes you may think that there are two different sides. The good and the bad; watching the movie and seeing the actions and how each Sgt. reacts after seeing one of their men killed. From that point on there has been a couple conflicts between the two. Sgt. Barnes has been with this force for a while and Sgt. Elias seems like he has a better understanding and patience when it comes to what happened at the village. Sgt. Elias doesn’t want to harm anyone who isn’t a threat.
2/25/2013 12:08:45 pm
I strongly agree with your response i see Sgt. Barnes as a coward.
2/25/2013 01:37:47 pm
I can definitely see where you're coming from. Barnes definitely shouldn't be the leader in any type of way. Elias is a way better lieutenant than Barnes. Elias has more compassion for his men, while Barnes doesn't even care if they die or not. He just thinks since there's other men, then we don't need them. So I definitely understand we're coming from.
2/26/2013 02:19:01 am
I agree with what you are saying about how Barnes took things personal by killing Elias because if he really wanted to win the war he would use all the men possible to win. He is a coward and he selfish for wanting to have all the credit in winning the war. he is just using his men and he doesnt really care about them. Elias is more careful and he wouldnt kill inncocent civilians, he would think that was wrong. I also agree about Elias having more pateince.
2/25/2013 12:06:26 pm
If i was i soldier and had to choose between Sgt. Barnes and Sgt. Elias i would stay on Sgt. Elias side. Sgt. Elias is very thoughtful and he is not a man who lets his emotions and his anger control him. He always does the right thing. He would never take revenge on his against innocent people.
2/25/2013 12:47:55 pm
Iam also on your side. I think Barnes is kind of selfish in a way. He wants to win the war but to me I felt like he was going to take the pride for him self and say he won the war. the main reason which made me think this is because he killed Elias for saving himself.
2/25/2013 01:55:22 pm
"...he is not a man who lets his emotions and his anger control him" referring to Sgt. Elias. You quoted it very well. Knowing that we see his actions throughout Sgt. Barnes nonsense, he remains himself and stays humble during this tragic force.
2/25/2013 01:02:29 pm
If I was in the Platoon I would follow Barnes as my leader. The reason I would follow Barnes as a leader is because he is strong, raging to win, in motivating other solders to fight. I would follow Barnes because it would also help me stay alive in the war. I also think Barnes has an Evil side but I think the Evil side is what I could deal with if it meant I could live after the war.
2/25/2013 01:41:05 pm
I agree with you to a certain degree, Barnes does motivates the other soldiers but his down fall is like you said might be the way he rages into things. In the movie he seems to be always being corrected by Elias since the Sgt. always takes sides with Barnes.
2/25/2013 03:32:49 pm
Men :(. Think about it who survived at the end of the movie? Almost everyone in Barnes group died at the end including Barnes your argument is basis on a false assumption that you'll live. and when you said you could live with it does that mean you could live with watching one of your comrades shooting a innocent child or better yet watching them rape a young girl. if you’re going to be in Barnes group it's all or nothing you can't be around dirty people and come out clean. Barnes is good at keeping himself alive not his men the only person you can rely on to protect you is you and whole lot of luck. Life isn't everything in war. Yeah you want to get out of their alive but you also want to get out of there with your sanity intake with a soul.(you underestimate the terrors of war) I pity Barnes has been through so much crap and keep on coming back for more he reminds me of a battered wife. Yes he'd resilient but he doesn't know what it is to live without war (abusive husband=) it's the only thing he knows. How can you let someone lead you to life if he doesn't know what it is? As a solider Barnes is ideal but he is the type of person who has nothing to go home too or doesn't know how to readjust. Barnes knows how to fight wars and win not to protect lives. He thinks of his men as chess pieces to play in the game of war . I have as much respect for as a person Barnes as I don a battered with and I don't have a lot of respect for them because they stay in the relation and wait for the casket.=(
2/25/2013 01:21:40 pm
As a soldier, I would follow Sgt. Elias because he seems to be more tactical than Barnes. Elias seems to be always thinking of his men and acts out of reason rather than rage. Elias is someone who strongly believes in the rules. Barnes on the other hand will do all that he can to get thing done his way. If I had to follow him I would have felt under constant pressure, but on the upside of being on his side you will live like as you please and have nothing to worry about with the exception of death. Barnes is one who feels that he has alot to prove to others. I also think that Barnes has very little to live for back home and so he has made the war the center of his life which it revolves around.
2/25/2013 01:28:09 pm
If I were in this platoon, and I had to choose between Sgt. Elias or Sgt. Barnes, I would go for Sgt. Elias. The reason being is that I really understand his compassion for the war, and how he feels it should be for the good fight, not to just win, unlike Barnes' view on the war. I also like how he cares about his men, and cares if they get hurt or not. That to me, shows how good of a sergeant he is to his men.
2/25/2013 01:43:59 pm
I totally agree with you. Barnes doesn't care about his men and all he wanted to do was kill and torture people. When they were in My Lai, Barnes and his followers enjoyed going around punishing and killing citizens when they didn't even do anything to Manny. Manny's death was caused by communist and the citizens were peacefully there not knowing what happened until it was disrupted by Barnes. Even when Elias caught what he was doing, later on he killed Elias for doing what's right.
2/25/2013 01:39:24 pm
If I was a solider in the war, I would follow Sergeant Elias. He knows what is right and what is wrong. I believe both Barnes and Elias was determine to win the war but Elias was determine to win it the right way, to kill their soldiers not the Vietnamese citizens. Even though Barnes went through many battles, Elias has a lot of knowledge about being in the war. He knows how to care, help, and train his soldiers to survive the war.
2/25/2013 02:04:13 pm
In totally honesty, if I was a character in that movie, I would have to side with Sgt. Elias. He's more of a caring person than Barnes. What his men do and say actually matter to him, and he tries to make the best out of the worst. He wants to make his men feel like he can trust them and have faith in what they are doing. Elias is more like the "good cop" while Barnes is like the "bad cop".
2/25/2013 02:50:18 pm
I would like to think I would side with Sgt. Elias because I would have liked to die with my morals intact. I believe when you’re dead you’re dead and the only think that truly matters is your legacy because that is what people remember. Yeah I could follow Barnes and ruin my sense of morals just for the slim chance that I will survive and go home. But then what? Be hunted of the innocence people that you have killed or raped, you won't be able to recover because you’re killing your soul, man. I don't know, I just think I would rather be shot between the eyes that cash in my soul. I think when you’re in war you have try to protect your life like a butterfly in the palms of your hands but when you grasp it too tight you end up signing your death note .you should protect your life yes, but you shouldn't your cowardice lead you. Look at junior: P
2/28/2013 03:33:28 am
I totally agree. I feel that we had the same idea when writing this because I feel that many people would side with Barnes only for that slim chance of survival but in regards to morality many people would side with Elias. I like how you included a visual type aspect in your answer. I have dealt with elderly vets who have been in combact and have seen the affects of war and its pretty sad. I would honestly choose death over being haunted by the memories of killing innocent people or even watching men take advantage of someone who obviously isnt able to fend for themselves or even protect themselves againt then men. I like that part of your answer where you included a bit of comedy using a character from the movie. :)
2/25/2013 11:25:46 pm
If i were to choose from either Sgt. Barnes or Sgt. Elias it would have to be Elias. The reason being is because Sgt. Elias and Barnes dont really get along and have different opinions on doing such things . Elias doesnt let this get in his way. Elias being in the battle field , he is more of the person to guide where the soldiers should be as he does his own thing after. Elias can be seen as more of the caring person . I can see myself following Elias rather then Barnes , i feel as if he would guide me in a supporitve way where as barnes may say one thing and not care . In the scene barnes say "we all have to die some day ". Yes , this is true but in the manner he said it, seemed as he didnt care. Elias would be a meaningful person to follow behind as a new soldier on the field.
2/26/2013 01:05:18 am
i would pick Sgt. Elias because he seems to care a lot more about his men and would want them to stay alive longer. He wanted everyone to make it home to there familys, and his mine was not just all about the war. He care when one man was down and dident want to see that. He one wanted to kill the the bad guys and not just people who happen to be there and shoot them because your mad. He would keep me alive longer i would stay with him.
2/26/2013 10:35:10 am
I dont disagree with you but Elias seems kind of soft. Softies dont survive the war. I picked Barnes becuase his what makes wars finished. There are not many people like barnes in the military but the one that are have hell of medals OORAH!
2/26/2013 11:19:47 am
your right now that i think about it you have to go all out. thats going to be in with all the medals oorah
2/26/2013 12:13:21 pm
Im not going to lie though in the movie, Elias was a good tactician so i wound have awarded him with the Purple Heart Medal.
3/2/2013 02:43:34 am
I agree with you. Although you make it seem as Elias I a soft body. What is a soft body? It's simply someone who isn't bout that life
2/26/2013 02:13:12 am
If I was a soldier in this platoon, I would follow sgt. Elias becuase of his morals and the way he cares about his men. He may not be in 24/7 survival mode like sgt. Barnes but I would choose him over Barnes any day. Barnes just doesnt care about anything and he puts his men in danger. If I want to survive I wouldnt like to be put in danger by my careless sgt. I would follow Elias because he is the "chirst" figure and he has morals, he doesnt let things happen on his count.
3/5/2013 06:44:06 pm
i agree with you Barnes is careless and i would not want to follow someone like that either and i would not want to be put in danger all the time
2/26/2013 10:12:09 am
Barnes vs. Elias
2/26/2013 11:21:13 am
your right 100 % i think you do what you have to do
2/28/2013 03:36:11 am
if i was in the platoon i would side under sgt elias. the reason being is because elias can keep a level head in the face of horror. he saw one of his comrades body hanging mercillessly torn. Barnes lost it and was going to pull his whole group with him down the unrighteous path of vengence. although something was a miss with the nearest village with the hoarding of weapons and all the excess food. elias had the morality to stop barnes and his dissolute killings of innocent villagers
3/1/2013 03:45:20 am
If I was a souldier in the movie platoon I would be on sgt.barnes side.the reason I would be on his side is becausehes a mean guy.hes very cold hearted and doesn’t really care about nobody but him self.and while your in war its all of nothing so you basically have to watch your own back to even survive.barnes is a strong leader and knows what he wants and if the job is not done right her will go in and do it himself.as for elias hes the nice guy but by being nice during war it really wont get you anywhere good.
3/1/2013 03:46:46 am
I agree, he is a stronger leader, than Elias.
3/1/2013 03:45:37 am
If I was a soldier in the Platoon I would probably be on Sgt. Barnes side. Why I would be on his side, although he is pretty mean and acts as though he doesn’t have feelings and cold hearted. Barnes is a very strong powerful leader and won’t back down he makes him sure all of his men are in good shape. Elias is a very good soldier, he’s very kind and considerate but that doesn’t always help you in the long run. I think Sgt. Barnes would lead me in to the battlefield on a much stronger, confident boost.
3/1/2013 03:47:08 am
agree ,he is a strong leader.
3/2/2013 02:39:04 am
If I were a solider of the platoons, I would pick Elias side. The reason why I would choose Elias and not Barnes is because Elias actually cares about his men. He wouldn't let anything tragic happen. Also, if you think about it, Elias is a lot more friendly than Barnes. Barnes is more of a violent person even in a non combat environment.
3/5/2013 06:41:32 pm
If I was a soldier and had to choose who i would rather follow behind between Sgt. Barnes and Sgt. Elias, i would pick Sgt. Elia. Sgt. Elias seems like a very strong person mentally and emotionally. Elias seem to always do what he think is best and wont hurt others that don't deserve to be.
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