Younghoon An Prof. Mead ENG4500 12/03/2013 The Manchurian Candidate The Manchurian Candidate in a movie about the Korean War set in the year 1952. The movie portrays a typical American war, where the liberal and free America fights against the unjust communists…
Shaw is shown as the gallant hero who fought for humankind and due to his strength and determination a major step forward was made in the war. Raymond Shaw is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour upon the recommendation of the platoon’s commander, Captain Bennett Marco. He’s shown to be a really important person as generals are made to salute him and there’s a whole parade upon his arrival. When Marco and his fellow platoon members are asked to describe Raymond Shaw, they automatically use the following phrase to describe him: “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.” But as Marco himself says it deep down they know that Shaw is a cold, sad, unsympathetic loner. After returning to the United States, the newly promoted now Major Marco starts suffering from a string of the same nightmare in which he sees a hypnotized Shaw, easily and without a single moment of hesitation murdering the two members of his platoon that had earlier not returned with. He does this in front of the top Brass of the Communist regime during a demonstration of the Conditioning done by the soviets to allow them to control Shaw at their will. Marco is very disturbed by these nightmares and he has trouble sleeping at night. He knows inside that there is something “Shady” about this whole incident. Marco wants to investigate this matter but due to the lack of substantial proof, he gets no help from the Army Intelligence but is transferred to the public relations department. Marco however, learns from another officer from the same platoon, Allen Melvin, that he has been having the same nightmares as well. Both Melvin and Marco separately identify the same people as the top brass they see in their dreams and thus get the support of the army to help Marco investigate. On the other hand Shaw’s mother, who is now remarried to Senator John Yerkes Iselin, runs the political campaign of her husband as he is nearing re-election to the senate. The senator himself is widely regarded as a fool. The senator runs on the political agenda where he regularly states that there are a number of communists working in the Department of Defence. What Raymond does not know is that his mother, Mrs. Eleanor Iselin, is in fact a communist agent with the plan to have the presidency under communist influence. Raymond Shaw is first introduced to the audience before the credits where he enters a Korean brother-bar to curtail the late night carousing of his troops. From the beginning scene the audience gets the idea that he is not a man liked very much by his fellow soldiers. During the scene where his brainwashing is occurring he is asked “Whom do you dislike the least in your group?” showing to us that he is a rather lone character who has not formed any sort of friendly ties with his platoon. And it is further shown in the same scene that Raymond is always “drawn to authority”. He is shown as a man who is distanced and follows the rules. He is shown to be withdrawn from his mother and his gestures have gone as much towards hating her as possible without actually doing so. As mentioned in the question itself, the major themes of this movie are “political paranoia and conspiracy specifically, about cold war paranoia and the fear of communism”. These themes are very much evident in the character of ...
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