Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Arts and Applied Sciences

First Advisor

Dr David McKie

Abstract

This thesis explores the 'casualties' of media representations of the Vietnam War in the nineteen eighties. Produced during the term of office of Ronald Reagan these texts rework central ideological issues revelent to that presidency: American innocence, 'fragile hero', Vietnam and the Vietnamese, and gender relations. Such issues will be looked at across a range 'of films and television programmes. Firstly, the filmic 'casualties'; American innocence, fragile hero and 'others' will be identified and analysed, Secondly, their relation to television will be initially expanded with a view to reevaluating television's supposed 'inferiority'. Television's casualties will then be analysed with particular reference to China Beach's 'progressiveness', formal openness and feminist criticism. Because it is a genre bender traditional gender representations are challenged. Both women's and men's positions as casualty are reevaluated. Finally, China Beach's exploration of gender without difference, its self-reflexive nature and its intertextuality offer perspectives which can be best described as postmodernistic . China Beach’s continuous innovativeness illustrates that 'other' representations, without a hierarchy of discourses, are possible.

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