“My son, the Marine” is a story written by a father and a son on their experiences as US marines. However, the story lies more on the experiences of the son and the feelings of the father concerning his son in the marines. It is important to keep in mind the fact that working for the nation in the army or the marine demands so much from an individual. It keeps the state before the family. Frank, John’s father had served time as a marine and was not expected to allow his son to get drafted into the marine and serve the nation. However, this is a story of love, where a man who loves his family is also seen to love his country to a point that he defends a decision of his son to get drafted into the US marine. The love for his son does not prevent this man from loving his country and teaching his son that the country is more important to them than anyone would, and, therefore, he should play a role in protecting the great nation (Schaeffer 629). The essence of this essay is a rhetoric analysis of the story, seeking to understand the effects of the drafting into the US marines on families and the feelings that most individuals have on the issue.
Initially, the military was not a good choice for an individual to take up a career in. In fact, even today, there are individuals in the United States who would not want their sons to get into the military. Apparently, most of the people in the military at that time were from families with poor backgrounds who could not have afforded a college education or even another route for careers other than the military.
Unfortunately, even though the work of the marines was to protect the United States from external aggression and from terror, making sure that whenever Americans went about their duties in the day or when they slept and rested in the night, they were safe from any external threat, the marines were not accorded much respect. In fact, drafting into the military is something that was considered like being an outcast for individuals from the middle class and upper class. Frank, the writer of this story, was among the upper class members of the society, who would have been against their sons getting into the military.
The question, however, is why Frank let his son join the marines, instead of him working for a different career path, like many upper class and privileged members of the society did for their sons? According to the story “My son, the Marine”, Frank had not warmed up to the idea of his son in the military, but what he saw in his son after joining the marines caused him to change his perception about the military and the negative attitude that he had for the marines (Schaeffer and Schaeffer 188). It is crucial to indicate that Frank is a fiction writer, and his ideas are drawn from different experiences in life. This is very important because it helps the reader to understand the feelings that Frank had when he wrote this piece of non fictional story. It is a personal account of an encounter with the love for a nation that John had in the marines, and the satisfaction he radiated in the simple fact that he knew that United States was a safer place with him in the marines.
By writing this story, Frank and John tried to help individuals understand the choices that many people make concerning their services to the state and the reasons behind the decision. They both indicate that there is a great difference in serving a country as a military man and being a supporter of some government policies affecting the military from the outside. A marine serves the country in giving himself up for the state, even though the marine may not support the policy that brings war to the nation. This means that although most wars will be connected to politics and change in policies, the role of the marine is to protect and secure the people of the United States regardless of their political affiliations (Schaeffer 629). Apparently, there is a better way that Frank uses in explaining the logic that drives him to write a story about the life of his son in the marines and how he changed his attitude. He indicates that if in an accident an individual is trapped into the car, the role of the police officer is to pull out and save the man trapped in the car regardless of whether the person is a criminal. In fact, it does not matter whether the person is on the wanted list of the FBI for crimes or not. The initial call for the police is to save the life of the man. It is, therefore, easy to conclude that Frank has a way with words that would convince the reader to change the minds of the readers on this issue.
Apparently, this book was written at a time when America was not at war with any country, although the marines were playing roles in ensuring international community did not have any effect on the people of the United States. This means that whatever the situation, whether a marine is working in Vietnam or in Afghanistan, provided this individual is there because of the people of the United States, this person requires attention and respect.
Reading through the article shows that the mandate of the author is not to show how his son gained personal satisfaction in the marines, and neither is the intention of the author to show that life as a marine is any different from what is universally known, but his chief aim is to woe the reader to accept change of mind and attitude towards the Marines. As has been indicated in the introductory part of the essay, the upper class and sometimes the middle class of the United States were wary of having their sons in the military for the obvious reasons that in the Marine they were likely to face tough life besides risking their lives in case of a war.
However, the author seeks to indicate that the choice that an individual makes in joining the military should be respected, since it is offering service to ones own country and its people. It is easy to come to a conclusion that the author makes his point and even convinces individuals reading the short story on matters concerning the military and love for the sovereignty of the United States. His style is simple and clear, but has a far reaching effect on the reader. With this style, it is easy to develop a feeling of guilt in the readers who may have intentions of preventing their sons from entering into the marines and serving the country. It makes one feel like he or she is not patriotic enough. “My son, the Marine” is one of those literary works that are crafted by the author so that they cut the objectives of the writing so well that there is no need of looking for a deeper meaning (Schaeffer 629). It is a benchmark for helping individuals change their attitudes towards the military right from the tone, depth and conviction of the author about the topic.
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