On Fighting One’s Own Way

To echo the comments of most everyone who has posted about the movie Foreign Correspondent thus far, I’ll admit that I had difficulty in drawing very many comparisons between the two narratives, other than Johnnie James vs Johnny Jones and their respective careers.

However, a particular line that Carol said towards the end of the movie caught my interest; following her admission that her father had been involved in the kidnapping of Van Meer, she turns to Johnny and says that, while her father’s actions may not have been in the best interest of many people, he was still fighting for his country in his own way, and, by being open to telling the press about what had happened, she, too, was fighting for her country in her own way.

Though patriotism isn’t much of a theme in the book Foreign Correspondent, the idea of fighting certainly is: Scooter Macintosh is an icon for cage fighting, an activity that Johnnie emulates in a way through her jiu-jitsu lessons. However, they have very different reasons for fighting; it doesn’t seem to come very naturally to Johnnie, who sees it as “a skill like no other in the world, since it pushes the body to an absolute limit” (29); Scooter, on the other hand, thinks that fighting “‘is not violent. It is everyday life.”‘ (12) Perhaps it is a stretch to consider these sentiments on a very different kind of fighting a direct parallel, but, all the same, it is interesting to consider their implications in light of the movie.

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