Essay Question was: Choose your favoruite text, and explore how intertextuality has influenced your appreciation of it. - my text was saving private ryan.

Saving Private Ryan
By Jon Edwards
Our textual context manipulates the way we view, read and understand texts, that is, our experience with other texts influences our understanding of another text. I found that my appreciation of the text Saving Private Ryan directed by Steven Spielberg, has been vastly increased with its intertextual relations to texts such as Marley and Me, by John Grogan, The Pacific directed by Tim Van Patten and Pearl Harbour Michael Bay. I chose Saving Private Ryan as my favourite text because, I believe it portrays a realistic environment in which the soldiers of World War II would have to face everyday, without leaving out any detail. It also upholds the values of mateship and sacrificing anything, even your own life, to save innocent people, and to face up to your fears.

Marley and Me by John Grogan, strengthened my appreciation of Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Marley, the dog in the text, is not only John Grogan’s pet, but his best friend and family member. The text gives an added meaning to dogs as “mans best friend”, and Grogan does everything and anything he can do in order to prolong his best friend’s life. I believe this taps into the value of doing anything you can for your mates, which is portrayed in Saving Private Ryan. In seeing this, my appreciation of the text is strengthened significantly, as I know what it is like to lose a best friend, after losing my beloved eleven year old golden retriever Bronson, a friend I had from when I was four til I was 15. Seeing the dog being treated as Grogan’s best friend really hit a soft spot for me, and made me realise how close I really was to my own dog. This gave me the ability to empathise with the soldiers in the war, to a certain degree, which greatly increased my appreciation of Saving Private Ryan.

Tim Van Patten’s The Pacific, gave me a huge insight into the lives of the 3 soldiers that experienced World War II. I believe that Saving Private Ryan perfectly captures the soldiers experience in the wars. This is reinforced by the interviews with soldiers, and how they recount their horrific memories, some of which “..are several scenes that will never leave your mind”, which I think Saving Private Ryan also does. Such a scene is the opening scene, of the landing at Omaha beach, where we witness, one man looking for his arm that has been blown off, and another who has been shot so severely he is holding his stomach and intestines in. It is examples such as these that demand the respect of the soldiers that have witnessed their family and friends go through this type of pain, and possibly been injured like this and survived. This is why I have such a huge respect and appreciation of texts such as these, as they are not afraid to go into the detail that really depicts the horrific circumstances which these soldiers were engulfed.

Michael Bay depicts one of the most horrific war stories to come out of World War II, the bombing raid on Pearl Harbour. This complete waste of life is also shown in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Both texts show how war is just pure destruction and mindless killing for a small gain, but they both also show how the killing may be necessary. Spielberg shows that killing can be justified, when trying to save a friend, or a family member, or in the case of the text, saving a person who is the last surviving brother out of four. In the case of Pearl Harbour it is to survive at all costs in order to see your loved ones. Both present ideas of close love between family or between lovers, during hardship, constant death and war.
It is with this that Pearl Harbour has increased my appreciation of the story of Saving Private Ryan, and the true story about Fritz Nilland, of which the text is based on.

Ultimately, there are many more texts that would both increase my appreciation of Spielberg’s film, Saving Private Ryan, but could also possible decrease my appreciation of it, though this is unlikely. I love this film as it goes deep into the lives of the soldiers, demands respect to those who deserve it, and reinforces the Christian values of respect, friendship, family and love. Through viewing the texts; Pearl Harbour by Michael Bay, Marley and Me by John Grogan and The Pacific by Tim Van Patten, the values mentioned are reinforced even more in the text, giving it a much higher appreciation to me.