n shores. In one letter home, Taylor writes “Maybe I finally found it, way down here in the mud. Maybe from down here I can start up again. Be something I can be proud of without having to fake it, be a fake human being” alongside another letter which reads:
“Of course, Mom and Dad didn't want me to come, they wanted me to be just like them - respectable, hard-working, making $200 a week, a little house, a family. They drove me crazy with their godd*mn world, grandma. You know Mom, I don't want to be a white boy on Wall Street, I don't want my whole life to be predetermined by them. I guess I've always been sheltered and special. I just wanna be anonymous like everybody else. Do my share for my country. Live up to what Grandpa did in the first war and Dad did in the second.”
It is here in Vietnam that Chris Taylor believes he can finally discover his true self and find his purpose/meaning in life and will no longer “be a fake human being”. By engaging in a new lifestyle so different from the one he knows back home, Taylor will at least learn something about his purpose in life and how he can achieve that, and the first step is clearly to survive Vietnam.
On top of that, Taylor’s quest for purpose and meaning during his time in vietnam is heavily influenced by those around him as both Non-Commissioned Officers and his fellow G.I.’s mold Taylor into the man he is at the end of the film. Within the closing moments of the film, Taylor reflects on all he’s had to suffer through during his time in Vietnam, and during his medical evacuation, Taylor recites the following as the conclusion to his story.
“I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since I've felt like the child born of...