Artistic Response to War

The Civil War and the abolition of slavery began in 1861, with years of heated engagements between the northern and southern United States. Abraham Lincoln was sworn as president in 1860 due to issues such as states’ rights, westward expansion and slavery, and therefore, a total of eleven southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America.

One of the greatest films that represent the political, ideological, and racial sides of war is a movie called Glory, starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington.  Broderick, a soldier, is wounded at the battle of Antietam, rescued by a black soldier, and promoted to colonel. The ensuing scene shows Broderick training the first black soldiers, as many of them do not even know their left from right. The lack of respect and brutality at this point shows just how much moral development has changed.

Four years of brutal war were marked at Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg. The Civil War became the highest costing war to ever be fought on American soil, numbering 620,000 killed, and millions more injured.  Matthew Broderick truly commemorates the values of today’s America as he positively reinforces the black soldiers. The faith he has in them and knowledge of their worth shines through even though he is obligated to his duties. Another scene that has a great deal of symbolism is the scene when Denzel is being whipped. It’s ironic because he joined the army to fight the whites who whipped him, yet his white commanding officers whip him.

The Civil War brought about establishment, unity, and moral development.Glory demonstrates these characteristics, and shows why despite the negative sides to the war, the sacrifice and results were worth the risk.

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