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My Lai

  • Date Submitted: 04/18/2012 11:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.8 
  • Words: 1699
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Brent:   After watching this movie, I noticed that there were some shocking similarities between the behavior of the soldiers along with their captain and lieutenant and some of the subjects in the experiments on helping behavior.   Do you see where I’m getting at with this Adam?
Adam: Yes I do Brent. For instance, Lieutenant Calley tells his platoon to go into My Lai and kill all of the villagers that they come across.   Now this could be portrayed along with Milgram’s theory on following an authority figure no matter what.   Most of these soldiers just like the volunteers in the experiment knew at some point that it was wrong but they kept going anyway because that is what the authority figure told them to do and they listened.
Chase:   That is an excellent point there Adam.   There’s more to it than just that.   At the beginning of the movie one of the soldiers talked about how at one point the villagers were all lined up and were shot at like that and it sort of reminded him like Hitler.   This could go along with Zimbardo’s experiment of The Stanford Prison Experiment where they had prisoners and guards.   The guards would be the soldiers and the prisoners would have been villagers who were tormented by the guards just like in the experiment.
Adam:   Why, yes of course. I can see where you are coming from with that. Along with Zimbardo’s experiment, there was one guard that every other guard would follow and copy. Calley was that person to the soldiers because they all liked him and was always trying to prove to his captain that he was a good officer.
Brent:   I have another example to go along with Zimbardo.   The men that volunteered to do the experiment thought that it would be easy money and figured that they could handle it pretty well.   The soldiers who went to My Lai thought that it was going to be like going into Paris after D-Day but they realized instead that they were encountering hostility and resentment from these people.   This was the same way the guards...

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