Robert Eberwein in his book Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film examines a number of problems arising in terms of relations between people during war time. According to him, these moments can serve as a social slice, which clearly characterizes generations and establishes statutes, preferences and traditions (Eberwein, 2007).
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One of the most interesting and important problems is the issue of the crisis of the masculinity in the American society in a time of World War II clearly observed in the movie Pearl Harbor by Michael Bay released in 2001. It covers several aspects in the light of the father - son relationship, the first of which reveals the problem of the insolvency of the families of that time. The film reflects events of 1923 year, the post-war situation, where the world is concerned about the First World War and the looming threat of a second one.
Under these circumstances, many children were abandoned by their fathers who had to give their lives for the sake of the peace. However, Danny's Father, appeared to be an exception in this situation. Fortunately, he is alive, though he did not have enough time to nurture his child since the substantial part of his life he spent in the war. Afterwards, he had to work hard to feed his family. The initial cenes of the film demonstrate the fact that the father cannot cope with the situation and apparently with the boys who have started the aircraft engine by accident. Apparently, the father of Danny begins to beat own son due to the fact that he did not know how to properly behave. Undoubtedly, this situation clearly demonstrates the lack of the knowledge regarding any education principles and the crisis of the masculinity in the society. It is necessary to note that the generation of people whose childhood was spent in the interwar period, was deprived of any kind of the parental care and love, in particular - the paternal one (Eberwein, 2007).
Danny and Rafe spent most of their time in the games which are naturally concerned the military actions that greatly affected when they went to the war, though, at the moment the planes they are playing with are just toys. They perceive the flights just as the game, but not something real. Therefore, it is one more clear aspect of the crisis of the masculinity.
After passing a lot of events, including love and friendship, Rafe and Danny relationships has changed. Apparently, it was caused by the fact that war accelerates events and relationships under the pressure of death. The film shows that the courage and assertiveness of Rafe have escalated further, while Danny's shyness and uncertainty have subbstantially increased. Apparently, it is possible to imagine any of them in the situation how they bring up another generation - their own children. It is unlikely that Danny will be able to grow a courageous boy since a single mode of the behavior, he was treated with was an example of his own relationship with his father, who is not a perfect example..
However, it is also difficult to imagine Rafe as the perfect father as he is quite a selfish person who is totally focused on the war. By no means, if he had to choose between the family and the planes, he would choose the last one. Moreover, inability and unwillingness to be a father is also traced throughout the film which is clearly demonstrated though the dialog when Danny dies at the hands of Rafe,"You cannot die. You cannot. You're going to be a father", says Rafe. "No. You are", answers Danny (Eberwein, 2007, p. 141)
The feelings of the guilt, insecurity, lack of paternal care, awareness of own inability to grow another person formed these words. To some extent, this is also an escape from the responsibility. Therefore, assuming all the above, it is necessary to say that Robert Eberwein, insisting on the crisis of the masculinity in American society during the war, had the crucial reasons to do that, and, certainly and the film Pearl Harbor proves it the best.