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Saving Private Ryan’: Summary Essay

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Is war a good thing Or a bad thing? Is it what makes the world or destroys it? Does war bring us together or tear us apart? War is a word that is typically known for being considered a conflict between states, governments, societies, and informal paramilitary groups… however, the idea of how it is represented involves being portrayed or depicted. The concept suggests that there are a number of ways in which something can be featured or equally valid. Composers represent war in multiple ways when considering different types of representations. In order to do this the individual chooses intentional choices as a reflection on their perspective of war to position how the responder can picture their particular representation of war. Today I will be discussing the two different representations of how world war 1 and 2 were portrayed as. During world war I 1 Ellis Salad was an Australian artist who fought at Gallipoli where he painted and wrote the famous Diray Entrys. This time was seen as honorable and brave for young soldiers to head off to war, however, in world war 2 Stephan Spielberg's saving private Ryan shows the gruesome and depressing aspects giving insight into the differences of war.

Imagine going from drawing the palm trees swaying in the sunset outside your window to drawing the vivid scenery of dead bodies surrounding you after your scary battle. Ellis Luciano Silas is also known as an Australian World War One artist and soldier. He was one of only three artists to record Australian participation at Gallipoli from first-hand experience and the only one of these to paint battle scenes as well as diary entries. When the war was declared in 1914 Silas, who had served for three years in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, enlisted on 16 October through a strong sense of patriotism. He then joined the 16th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, as a private and was made a signaller, although his preferred duty was as a medical orderly. Silas found army life extremely distasteful but conscientiously practiced signaling and continued sketching and painting whenever he was able. On the evening of 25 April 1915, his unit landed at Gallipoli.

Silas drew many famous sketches during his time at war but a specific one that stands out is called at the water hole’, the diary extract that goes along with it represents how they are relieved on the firing line as the Australians have held their position in a difficult battle. In Silas’s entry he quotes “First wash for a week go down to the Water Hole, which is always covered by Turkish snipers – it was safer in the trenches than here – all around this spot are dead and wounded who have been hit when dodging round this corner; however, one must drink, even if the price be Death.” this gives an insight into the sketch and what is being represented. The composition of the sketch focuses on the three men at the waterhole. One man is seen dead and the other two are helping each other recieve the water without being shot. The composition represents how the basic needs in the war were classified as a death bed, as simple as getting some water can lead you to your death as is shown in the sketch. The omissions in the sketch include the scenario of getting down to the water hole. Silas did not include how to move to the hole but only include what happens when you are there, as an audience this represents the idea of focusing on being the Taggart at the water hole. Ellis Silas overall represents war as heroic devastation.

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“ I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel”. A famous quote from captain miller in Stephan Spilsberg, 1998 'Saving Private Ryan,' a no-holds-barred epic about D-Day and the Normandy invasion, was created to reshape America's cultural memory of WWII, exposing millions of viewers to the stomach-churning violence and soul-shaking intensity of that pivotal chapter in the war. a group of U.S. soldiers goes behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. The film is notable for its graphic portrayal of war and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. In the opening scene of saving private Ryan As soon as the ramp lowers on the Higgins Boats, German machine-gun fire rakes the bow. Of those lucky enough to make it over the side, many die in the water. The ones who make it to the beach are torn apart by small arms, artillery fire, and shrapnel. Spielberg's main idea was to create a film that gave the most insightful view into what ww2 was really represented as and indeed that is exactly what happened.

In Speilberg’s saving private Ryan he uses track-in shots to physically move in on the subject, typically going from medium to close-ups, when doing this the movement is smooth and the background is blurry which creates an effect to really focus on the scenario. Spielberg does this numerous times in the opening scene of the Ohama beach battle on many soldiers as they fight and lose their life, this gives a powerful effect as it gives more personal insight on the reflection of world war 2. Speilberg used desaturated color when filming the ohana beach battle, in doing this she added to the dulled effect, which brought out the great tragedy and emotions in the film. Adding desaturation to the color made the deaths seem more explicit, dark, and deeply disturbing. Sound is a key factor used by Spielberg to add realism, throughout the opening scene constant sounds of gunfire and bombs fill the air as the soldiers enter the beach. This feature reinforces various points in the scene where dialogue is barely audible, this particular layout is deliberately done so by Spielberg to emphasize to the audience how in reality but in particular, war the difficulties present were. Stephan Spilsberg ‘saving private Ryan was created to reenact the distraught and damaging time in world war 2, this film is known for being one of the most realistic films in history as it represents the loss and the courage of the young soldiers on the ohama beach.


Overall both world war 1 and the diary entry of Ellis Silas as well as WW 2 and the visual representation of saving private Ryan give insight into the completely different times in war along with how they are represented. World war 1 is started as being seen as an honorable and heroic bravery for the young men to go off the battle however this changed when world war 2 began as there was much more bugger technology and damage used. Saving Private Ryan gave insight into the horrific scenes of ohama beach and the trauma for the young soldiers who lived and lost. Many people argue about what war really is, many people agree that “War is fought with the will of the government, the competence of the armed forces, and the support of the nation”. but I believe that war represents a time of honor and loss

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Saving Private Ryan’: Summary Essay. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“Saving Private Ryan’: Summary Essay.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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