Saving Private Ryan Essay Research Paper Captain

Saving Private Ryan Essay, Research Paper

Captain John H. Miller

John H. Miller, played by Tom hanks in the outstanding Spealburg production Saving Private Ryan, was the captain of the American Army. Miller is truly a complex and mysterious character portrayed by his unwillingness and uneasiness when discussing his past. Before the beginning of the Second World War, Miller was a schoolteacher in his hometown. He often avoided the conversation of his past, maybe because it was too emotionally painful for him, as there is a great contradiction between caring for children and the gruesome scenes of war. He had a caring wife, who he often talked about in various parts of the film, such as intimate times when soldiers were out- bursting with emotion and feeling and their eagerness to return home. Millers mission was to save Private Ryan, an American soldier who s three brothers were killed in battle, although, Miller had a greater mission, to return with Ryan as soon as possible in order to go back home to his wife.

Miller has a distinct shaking hand throughout the film. His shaking hand mellows his character and portrays his humanism. The shaking hand also proves that men of war are everyday people and are not always big, heroic, Rambo like characters, as we usually stereotype them to be.

Captain John H. Miller is a finally crafted and depicted character. He is moral and righteous in his actions, which adds a certain warmth to his character.


Hopem is an insecure character who is constantly trying to gain attention. He does this as he is considered an outsider by the other soldiers under Millers command. Hopem tries to win acceptance by involving himself in discussions, but doesn t succeed because of his strictly moral ways of seeing things. The first instance were Hopem proved his moral ways was when the Americans captured a German soldier. The Americans were prepared to murder the prisoner, as they despised Germans and thrived for revenge. Hopem stepped in and convinced the captain in freeing the man.

Hopem is a frightened and cowardly character and doesn t belong in the front lines of brutal war. He is much better categorised as an academic. He portrays his cowardness in many occasions, one being when the Americans and Germans were in battle and Hopem allowed one of his fellow soldiers to be murdered while he was only meters away. He didn t attempt to help the soldier because fear took over him, although, this is no excuse.

He showed courage toward the end of the film when he killed a German soldier, which disobeyed his commands. This courageous yet inhumanly action won Hopem a sense of honor and courage.

Hopem is clearly not a fit enough character for the extremities of war. He displayed many negative characteristics, which in turn caused his lack of acceptance and a negative attitude toward him from members of the team.


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