The Farce Of Heroism An Opinion Paper On Heroism Using Examples From "The Gemeral" And "Birth Of A Nation".

875 words - 4 pages

The Farce of HeroismThe concepts of heroism in war depicted in Birth of a Nation (1915) and The General (1927) are much the same throughout the two films, but the theory of heroism is much different toward the end of the films. The heroism concept portrayed in Birth of a Nation is one of pure and true heart with no stopping until death as was the perceived way of soldiers in the time period. However later in the film the "hero's welcome home" seemed rather tragic and depressing. While the heroism portrayed in both films tended to be satirical and offered a jab at the concept of heroism in war. There is one main congruency between the two films and that being: Heroism is best suited for what your true beliefs are.Birth of a Nation, which was the most watched film of all time, was filmed and released after World War I had broken out. With the imminent U.S. involvement upcoming, the picture of the undaunted hero running to his demise, with flag in hand and pride in his heart, was something the audience wanted to see to ease their insecurities about war. This very long, approximately three hours, saga of two families in the Civil War made it seem that a true hero would die for the greater good of the "Nation" and he would be immortalized in the eyes of his peers. With this thought in mind the every male rushes off to enlist and become heroes for their families. The truth behind the matter became very evident when first the "hero", saved by his best friend/enemy, was to be sentenced to death by his saviors/captors. Once he is released, due to his mother's pleadings to the president for him, he travels home to his ruined home, two dead brothers, wounded father and destroyed family. This statement is rather harsh and real. Another hero of Birth of a Nation is President Lincoln, the victor and hero of the United States, gets his "hero's welcome home" with an assassins bullet. Perhaps D.W. Griffiths had a great disdain for war?"Buster" Keaton also had a stalwart stance against war, however he showed it in a much more agreeable way. His satirical comedy about the Civil War made the thought of war much more palatable and still got the anti-war message across to the audience. Keaton had a nearly identical scene to Birth of a Nation where the Civil War had broken out and every able-bodied man rushed to the draft points so they could be the first person to enlist. Through much effort...

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