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Elizabeth wonders:
 
> But the frame of Ryan's post-war life is the weakest part of the
film, the
> least convincing in all ways. the trip to the cemetery comes off as a
> Hallmark greeting card moment. It implies that Ryan led a worthy life
> because he married and had kids and lived long enough to wear a Member's
> Only jacket.  His emotion seems justified and sincere but the answer "yes"
> he lived a worthy life does not seem at all clear. In fact if that "yes"
> were really obviously true it would make it seem as if WWII were fought
> largely to make the fareways of America safe once more for Republican
> geezers to pull out their clubs and putt. Could it be that Spielberg
> intended to undercut that "yes"?
 
I think that Spielberg means to be genuinely respectful here, but I
agree that the answer given is too easy.  (What happened in that family
during Vietnam, for instance?)  But the ending is set against Hanks's
original declaration that the guy they're looking for had better do
something really worthwhile, like cure a disease or invent something.
The implication is that they also serve who only live their lives.  A
fulfilmment of Hanks' desire *would* have been over the top.
 
Don Larsson
 
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Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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