Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2013 Patrick Hackeling. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Farid Azfar

Second Advisor

Bruce Dorsey


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.

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