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Essay example - American Society is a Society of Denial

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Pages 6 (1506 words)
The American society has learnt to perfect the defense mechanism that is denial, especially with regard to the experiences of war. From the First World War, then the second, followed by the Vietnam War and lately, the war in Iraq, we have always dispatched our soldiers to all these wars…

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The troops too have been conditioned on the power of silence, and so they have no one to share their stories to. Apparently, the civilians have learnt to shut out the war veterans, literary, as they attempt to share their experiences and tribulations at war. Who then, can dispute that the United States is indeed a society in denial
In his 1994 publication titled, "Achilles in Vietnam: combat trauma and the undoing of character", Jonathan Shay (1994) describes, through the testimonies of veterans in Vietnam, how the war commanders would habitually attempt to eradicate normal compassion feelings and perception that were elicited by troops from the United States who were in this war. During times of war, military necessity, along with political propaganda acts as a yardstick of not just what the troops are able to perceive, but also the manners in which they are able to do so. According to Shay (1994), military superiors that were charged with the responsibility of handling both trauma and crime had a habit of telling their troops that these two occurrence never happened in the first place, and that the troops did not also experience them (Shay 1994).
With such a mindset therefore, little wonder then, that when they were being interviewed by news reporters, the troops would not hesitate to point out that that trauma never occurred, and if it did, they somewhat expected it. ...
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