The Man Who Changed Lives
“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons” (Hacksaw Ridge). A person's true character is shown in the toughest of times. Desmond Doss showed the world that a gun is not always needed to make a difference, because he saved countless lives without ever taking any. The difficulties Doss faced during the Battle of Okinawa were depicted in the 2016 movie Hacksaw Ridge. The movie displayed the struggle Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, went through that allowed him to single-handedly rescue many men. Though some events are not portrayed accurately, Hollywood does a tremendous job presenting the historical information of Doss’ life, the social problems with the war and Doss’ training, and the portrayal of Doss’ character.
There were many different events in Doss’ life that led to the position that he was in. Doss had countless opportunities to not serve, but when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour he took it personally. Before Doss served, he had a job at a shipyard “which made him eligible for deferment… [but] he felt a moral obligation” to directly support the war (Berman). He did not allow his job or religious beliefs to keep him from serving, because he was determined to do whatever he could in order to help. Even though the movie failed to show that Doss did not need to enlist, it still portrayed how much Doss wanted to help. When Doss joined the military, he planned on being a medic because he believed it was the best way he could adhere to the Sixth Commandment as well as the Fourth Commandment (Goldstein). Doss’ family was very religious, and throughout Doss’ childhood he grew up seeing a picture of God’s Ten Commandments. His religious beliefs limited his choices of what capacity he could serve in the military, because the Sixth Commandment is ‘thou shalt not kill’ and the Fourth is ‘thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy’. The reason that Doss would not touch a weapon was because of “a fight between Doss’ father and uncle” (Berman). This one event changed Doss’ life forever. His beliefs and views crafted him into the person that saved many lives on top of the ridge. The movie portrays this incorrectly by showing that it was a fight between his mother and father that prompted him to never handle a gun. Doss constantly fought through difficult times during his life.
Doss’ internal struggles were depicted well in the movie. Doss’ religious principles of a Seventh-day Adventist led to torment from “both his comrades and military superiors, who saw him as a liability” (Berman). Doss was viewed as a coward and the weakest link, and other soldiers did not trust that he would be capable of protecting them in battle. Doss suffered physical and mental abuse from his fellow recruits and his superiors tried to have him dishonorably discharged from the military. The men around him did not believe that he would save them in the heat of battle without a weapon, but he proved them wrong as shown in the mov...