Tigerland is a perfect example of a family that does not fit the standard and widely accepted viewpoint of a nuclear family. The question that is hard to define is what a family is. Webster’s dictionary defines the family as two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place. In the past, present, and future the definition of the word family will have an ever changing meaning. Whenever I hear the word family the first word that comes to my mind is unity. Unity in a way as which a group acts together for their own personal well-being.
In the movie Tigerland, it is a perfect description of Webster’s dictionary definition. Tigerland is a movie about men that are being trained to go to Vietnam. Through many hard weeks of training and intense mental strain the soldiers depend on one another to help them persevere and make it through the training. In many ways soldiers are a family. All of the soldiers who are there share the same goal of becoming a soldier in the military and they usually do reside in the same dwelling place, the exact definition of Webster’s. Many people have different viewpoints of what a family is.
“What Family? ” by Pauline Irit Erera analyzes the way a family has changed over many of the years. Erera also states that the family is something that cannot ever be defined due to how fast it is changing. During many of the militaries basic military training (BMT) there is a brotherhood that bonds with all of the other soldiers. All of the soldiers are all working for the same thing, they all want to become soldiers in the military; however, they can not achieve this task alone. That is where they all share the common goal and they all live under the same roof.
My brother came back from BMT and he told me that he had twenty new brothers that he would die for. I was immediately stunned. I looked at him with military issued glasses (They call them birth control glasses) and asked what he had meant. He told me that living under the same roof with all of them men and their group successfulness all depended on one another. He also said that the drill instructors never looked at them individually, but instead looked at them as one, as a unit. If there was one weak link then they were all weak links.
In the movie Tigerland, Colin Farrell likes his men so much that goes to the extent of getting them out of the military because he is scared that they will be shipped off to Vietnam immediately after training. This shows his brotherhood towards his men. Even though the men might not understand that what he is doing is the right thing, Colin Farrell loves his men so much he doesn’t want to see them get hurt or killed in Vietnam. Many times I have done things for my brother that he doesn’t understand why I did them but I had the best intentions for him.
In the movie many of the soldiers were quite furious that he got them out of the military but what many of the men didn’t know was that they were all being shipped off to the most dangerous location in Vietnam. One July fourth night I met up with my brother at a popular steak house to have a steak with him. I was only around sixteen and my brother twenty-two. After around eight beers, my brother was quite intoxicated. He told me that he was fine enough to drive home in. I told him that he was drunk and I took his keys away from him.
He was furious with me at the time, but afterwards while driving home and being stopped at a police checkpoint looking for drunk drivers, he was quite happy that I had drove that night. Over the years, the definition of the word family is an always changing meaning. There will never be a set definition for the word family. In today’s time a military brotherhood is overlooked as being a family, but if you go into battle and you are willing to die for someone, then I would consider it family. You are all working together as a unit in unity to share long term goals. Overall, the military brotherhood is an overlooked family in today’s time.