Home > Media essays > Sacrifices in Saving Private Ryan

Essay: Sacrifices in Saving Private Ryan

Essay details and download:

  • Subject area(s): Media essays
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published: 15 November 2019*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 1,010 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)

Text preview of this essay:

This page of the essay has 1,010 words. Download the full version above.

The movie Saving Private Ryan takes place during WWII and begins on June 6, 1944, at Dog Green Sector, Omaha Beach in Normandy, France where the Germans had taken over. One of the themes of the movie is sacrifice. Boats carrying U.S. soldiers are sent to attack the Germans, however, the enemy is ready for them. Many get shot from and die in the water before even getting to the beach. Others are blown up by cannons. These soldiers sacrificed their lives. Many men cry and wonder what to do. Eventually, the surviving soldiers make their way up the beach, as soldiers with wounds and missing body parts and lie around them. Medics crawl from body to body seeing if they can administer medicine to those that can be saved. Captain Miller, whose mission it was to secure the beach so that more boats with soldiers and canons can enter, appointed crew to go with him. They make their way to higher ground and take out some of the enemy firing at them.

Secretaries in the United States write telegrams to the families of the dead, and one notices that there are multiple letters to one family, the Ryan family. Three out of their four sons had been killed in the war but the youngest son is still in the war. This family has already sacrificed so much, so after much deliberation by US Army Officers, it is decided to send a group to rescue this last son, Private Ryan, and bring him home to his family.

While in France, army officers talk about their position & strategy. Captain Miller is now challenged to get a squad together to find and save Private Ryan, who was part of the 101st Squadron that parachuted into France. This group of 8 travel the countryside on foot to find him. Some believe this is a waste of their time while others in the group believe it is worth the risk, for the sake of his mother. They push on, willing to sacrifice themselves.

As they approach a town, Captain Miller talks to the other soldiers. The soldiers are not sure if Private Ryan is there, and they explain that they were split in half by the German forces, with half on each side of the city. As they clear the areas of the city, one of their own, Private Caparzo, is killed after sacrificing himself while trying to save a little girl. The squad then finds Private Ryan and delivers the news but it is the wrong Private Ryan. They bunk in the church for the night to prepare for the next day.

Early in the morning, Captain Miller talks to a Lieutenant. The Lieutenant says that soldiers come in a group at a time to the camp. Then when a higher ranking official comes into camp, he gathers a group of uninjured men and moves out to make trouble for the Germans. When Captain Miller finds a soldier that knows Private Ryan, he finds out that he joined another group to go watch a bridge in Romelle. The squad of seven then sets out for Romelle. They are cautious along the way as there are enemy soldiers bunkered in various locations. They approach a radar station and kill all but one of the men. They make the one that is still alive dig his own grave, blindfold him, and make him march 1000 paces down the hill. One of the squad thinks this mission is nonsense, after another one of them dies, and argues with another of the men. Captain Miller steps in and explains his history. He is a school teacher, and he just wants to complete this mission and get back home to his wife. He has sacrificed enough and just wants to finish the mission. They finally make it to the bridge and find that the C.O. there is dead.  There is only a corporal in charge. They find Private James Francis Ryan of Iowa and give him the news. Captain Miller tells him his orders are to bring him back. However, Private Ryan does not want to abandon his post and leave. Since Private Ryan refuses to leave, the squad stays to help keep the bridge secure. All the men at the bridge talk strategy, to best surprise the enemy when they approach. The plan is to draw the enemy up between the buildings through the rubble and disable the tank, which will make the tank a roadblock. As they carry out the plan, only a few survive, including Private Ryan. A wounded Captain Miller shoots at the tank, blowing it up, and then dies. The reinforcements arrive and Private Ryan goes home. The movie ends as the aged Private Ryan pays his respects to Captain Miller at Arlington National Cemetery. He says he has tried to live his life the best he could and hopes he has earned what they did for him, the sacrifices they made for him to come home.

The war in the movie seemed very unorganized, reinforcing the theme of sacrifice since the soldiers in the boats were the first wave of soldiers to arrive. The characters in the movie later discussed soldiers coming to the camp a few at a time in an unorganized way. They also discussed officers coming to camp and taking off with a group that were uninjured, and they were not staying with their original battalions. They did not have the communication devices of today but used what they had to be organized. However, the communication did not seem to be very effective. The soldiers had to stick to the original plan and hope that it worked. I am sure, once in the war, the soldiers wondered often if they would die there. This movie made me think about the huge sacrifices others have made for me to have a good life in the United States. It seems like such a tragedy how the soldiers just continued to walk up to the beach into enemy fire. Many paid the ultimate sacrifice.

...(download the rest of the essay above)

About this essay:

If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay Sauce, Sacrifices in Saving Private Ryan. Available from:<https://www.essaysauce.com/media-essays/2018-10-1-1538358479/> [Accessed 13-07-24].

These Media essays have been submitted to us by students in order to help you with your studies.

* This essay may have been previously published on Essay.uk.com at an earlier date.