Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Birth Of A Nation '

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Birth Of A Nation '

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D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film, “The Birth of a Nation,” initially titled “The Clansmen,” did little to refute the prejudice undertone of post civil war america. Constructed from a novel by Thomas Dixon Jr., the film nearly deemed the emancipation of slavery a mistake which displaced the construction of society ­ a mistake that could only be corrected by stainless sheet wearing vigilantes born of the film who bore the name, the Klu Klux Klan. The civil war was thought to start the momentum of a turned leaf in the United States; however, “The Birth of Nation” brought reconstruction to a screeching halt, revealing the hatred present in America and reverting American opinion back more than fifty years to antebellum times. Whilst doing so, the film emphasized the seemingly inescapable African American stereotypes in the most negative ways and shed a new, angry red light upon the South that was rejoiced in and projected with pride. It also set the tone of race relations in America as a monumental standard of the opposition of black equality, black power, black intelligence, and black rise to societal success.
In order to first completely grasp to use of stereotypes in Birth of a Nation, the stereotypes have to be explored by definition, prevalence, and importance. Character within the film exemplify many stereotypical roles. One being the happy slave. The jolly slave has no formal name, but it does portray the false contentedness of plantation life that was abruptly taken from Southerners during the Civil War. However, where the happy slave stereotype differentiates from conventional belief in this film is how the African Americans are not slaves. They are separated into two groups, one being the “faithful blacks” and the other being the “...


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...d an analytical opinion, , “The Birth of a Nation,” drives a wedge between African Americans and Americans of Aryan descent through fortifying the belief of ignorance within black culture and reinforcing pre­war stereotypes by character depiction and analyzation. The film also successfully creates a significant racial disparity within the United States that, at the time, was hoped for. Many people claim that the makes of the film were ruthless racist and devoted white supremacists, which contributed to the success of the film; however, in order for any opinion to be as successful as, “The Birth of a Nation”, it has to be
popular opinion. So, the words of the time were already there, and all the Southerners thirsted for was an opinion to support as they rode the backs of silver horses as they trotted off into the sunset, carrying the stainless sheet wearing vigilantes.

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