The Evolution of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in American Cinema and Culture
Swarthmore College. Dept. of History
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
This paper traces the emergence and progression of cultural representations of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States from 1976-1988, as well as their impact on the present day. Due to the ambiguities left behind by the Vietnam War, American cinema became both a coping and exploratory vehicle for the population in the years that followed. Artistic and allegorical at first, the medium quickly shifted to commercially and patriotically driven with the election of President Reagan in 1981. As a result, this history was ostensibly rewritten. However, today, society has matured to a degree where it can look back on these times and better discern where certain inaccuracies might lie.