Home > Free Essays > Art > Action Films > The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War

The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Dec 22nd, 2021

The theme of war was always the most troubling theme of human existence. In general, it is considered to be a disaster, an action disapproved by human minds and reality perception. As Colman McCartny pointed out, “warmaking doesn’t stop warmaking. If it did, our problems would have stopped millennia ago” (Lewis).

However, there are people for whom war is like an obsession, a drug they do not want to reject. The confirmation of this statement is presented in the film The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow. Our essay is devoted to the investigation of a question: was the war an obsession and a drug for Sergeant James, the main character of the movie?

The movie depicts the post-invasion period in Iraq in 2004. The plot tells about the special detachment of the American army which task was to make 38 days operation of making bombs safe. At the beginning of The Hurt Locker, there is a phrase: “The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug” (Hedges, 3). Thus this theme, that a war is like a drug is the central aspect of the movie. Sergeant William James is the personage who embodied this idea.

The first scene that proves this opinion is when James’s task was to make safe a bomb in the car during Bravo’s company. Even though the conditions of bomb neutralization were more than dangerous, James took off his special uniform, threw away headphones, and continued his work. Though his methods of acting were considered to be unorthodox by Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge, it did not stop Sergeant James to complete his challenge. For a person who made safe 873 bombs, that task was a point of honor. Thus, we can see that such operations for Sergeant James were like additional portions of adrenaline he could not live without.

The second scene giving more evidence that war was a drug for Sergeant James is when Sergeant James, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, and Specialist Owen Eldridge drank alcohol and relaxed after the hard operation to eradicate terrorists. In this scene, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge found a box of James’s things. While watching them they discovered that among son photos there were parts of different bombs. At this moment Sergeant James began to tell them in what operations were those parts obtained. But the most important fact worth our attention is his remark when he said that the box contained all things that threatened his life.

From this scene, we can conclude that the war for Sergeant James was not the source of adrenaline, but the goal of his life. James is a person who likes to play with fire and walk on the razor’s edge. Adrenaline for the sake of adrenaline was his aim.

The third scene that influenced his attitude to life and people and of course the scene that proved our theory as well, was when James found a dead body of a boy while a raid on a warehouse. It was an areal shock for him because, on the one hand, he thought it was “Beckham”, a boy that sold him DVDs. On the other hand, James had a son in America. The tragic episode allowed him to think about his family in America which he did not care about a lot.

He felt responsible for them. In the meantime, the theme of war as an obsession became deeper. We can observe this when after the boy’s death Sergeant James begins to suspect everyone to be guilty in it, even the old professor. The outcome of this story ends when James sees “Beckham” alive. At this moment he understands his obsessive intentions to find peace in war.

The last scene that puts a bullet point in our discussion is where Sergeant James talks to his little son. He confesses that for everyone there are things one likes. When one becomes older, the value of some things diminishes. At last, he adds that for him there is the only thing he cares about most of all. As a result, in the next scene, we see him serving with Delta company on a 365-day rotation.

Chaotic cinematography is presented in a film by shooting technique. The rapid change of episodes and background keeps the tension of viewing. Even though the film lasts almost two hours, we cannot tear off ourselves from the screen. Speaking about realistic sets of the picture, we cannot distinguish particular ones because the whole movie presents a realistic vision of depicted events.

The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow is the Best Picture Win. It deserves this nomination because it reveals the truth of the war in Iraq without any decoration or digression.

Though some Iraq veterans who watched this movie criticized it for inaccurately depicted conditions of war events, the movie still captivates so many audiences.

Even though Kate Hoit criticized the film as “being more accurate than other recently released war movies, but expressed concerns that numerous errors in the portrayal of military conditions would prevent service members from enjoying the film”(Hoit).

In conclusion, I would like to present the opinion of American president Barack Obama about the war in Iraq. This man was worried a lot about this problem and nowadays his task is not to make war to be a drug like it is depicted in The Hurt Locker but to reject war as the mean for peace obtaining.

Now, these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like a drought or a disease — how tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences (Lewis).

The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow aimed to describe not horrible events of the war and a lot of blood but the feat of arms of such soldiers as sergeant James is.

Bibliography

Hedges, Chris. War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. New York: Random House Inc., 2003.

Hoit, Kate. The Hurt Locker Doesn’t Get This Vet’s Vote. The Huffington Post. Web.

Lewis, Jone Johnson. War Quotes. 1995-2009. Web.

This essay on The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, December 22). The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, December 22). The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/

Work Cited

"The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War." IvyPanda, 22 Dec. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War." December 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War." December 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War." December 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hurt-locker-sergeant-james-obsession-with-war/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Hurt Locker: Sergeant James’ Obsession With War'. 22 December.

Powered by CiteTotal, easy referencing maker
More related papers