I was watching the movie “Saving Private Ryan” with a few people from my floor late last night, and I couldn’t help but notice that throughout the movie, all the male soldier characters, (minus one miniscule character), try hard not to cry. Tom Hanks’ character was under a lot of pressure as the captain of the rescue mission, and when he couldn’t take it anymore, he wandered away from the group to cry over the two deaths his team suffered, the stress of being in charge of such a mission, and all the trials that come with being in the military. Tom Hank’s character, Captain Miller, even went so far as to look over his shoulder a couple of times, to see if anybody was watching him or if anybody could see him crying. After he felt he was composed again, he went back to his team and they moved on with their mission. And when Private Ryan was informed that all three of his brothers were K.I.A. (Killed in Action), he only let one or two tears fall. Most of his response was focused on not the pain and saddness he probably felt after he heard the news, but rather that he couldn’t leave his team, “the only brothers (he had left).” Most people probably felt that his response to his brothers’ deaths showed how strong he was, how “well” he could take the news. I on the other hand felt he was holding back for two reasons: because he was in front of his superiors and fellow soldiers, but also because he was in front of fellow men and he didn’t want to be viewed as weak.
Watching this movie, I couldn’t help but refer back to Tony Porter, and the “Man Box,” and how men are so trapped in it, that they can’t let others see them cry, or see them “weak” and “vulnerable.”