Bombs Away: Different Reactions to the Vietnam War in Across the Universe
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam War claimed approximately 60,000 lives and sparked intense division of Americans who either supported or opposed the war. Others were indifferent but no one went un-affected by the conflict. Julie Taymor’s 2007 film Across the Universe demonstrates the reactions of two Vietnam-era characters and the distress it caused within their relationship and their lives. These two characters, Jude and Lucy, are emotionally pulled in two different directions because of their opposing views on the war. Jude is an illegal immigrant with no chance of being drafted into the war. If Jude had filled out his paper work and earned citizenship the right way, he would have had the same chance of being drafted into the war like many other men his age. Jude’s inability to be drafted is one reason that he is indifferent towards the war. In addition to this, he is not an American nor does he have any family members in the war at the time. Overall, Jude’s detachment to the war is the basis for his disinterest. On the other hand, Jude’s new American girlfriend Lucy feels very strongly about the war for many reasons. Lucy’s first love Daniel willingly enlisted and was killed in combat in a short period of time. This crushed Lucy, who says in the film, “… I can’t pretend like it didn’t happen. He was my first boyfriend. He was the first person I ever knew to die… I’d never even been to a funeral before”. Before Daniel’s death, Lucy’s view of the war was innocent and patriotic. However, as she watched his casket being lowered into the ground, and a folded American flag was handed to his mother, her attitude changed. To Lucy, the Vietnam War meant nothing but death, and things only got worse. Soon after Daniel’s death Lucy moved on and began to date Jude. Then her brother Max was drafted despite his own reluctance and hesitation. This drove Lucy to decide that sitting around and...
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