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The Patriot Essay

933 words - 4 pages


The Patriot, written by Robert Rodat, takes place in South Carolina and reveals a widowed father’s love for his family and trying to keep them together, despite the Revolutionary War that had begun. Trying to keep his demons from reappearing, Benjamin Martin faces his fear of his past coming back to haunt him after serving in the French and Indian War. Martin is a South Carolina farmer who lost his wife, Elizabeth, and reluctantly signs up to join the Continental Army after his eldest son, Gabriel joined the regulars to fight against the British. After a battle began on Martin’s plantation, Benjamin helped wounded soldiers from both sides and was approached by William Tavington, a colonel with the British. During this confrontation Tavington informed Martin that anyone who assisted soldiers of the Continental Army would lose their home. Tavington then threatened Martin’s children and captured Gabriel, a military courier delivering dispatches between Continental Army units, and a younger son, Thomas was killed by Colonel Tavington, while trying to save his brother’s life. And despite Martin’s soulful plea, his son was not spared nor was his home.
Leaving five children to fight with his eldest son, Gabriel, Benjamin enlists a group of peasants, old warriors, farmers, and one black slave to fight with the militia against the British soldiers. The remaining five children; Meg, Nathan, Samuel, William and Susan are left with their aunt on their mother’s side, Charlotte. The rag-tag group of militia men began a slaughter upon the British soldiers, attacking them on all fronts. While the militia fought their fights, Gabriel, ever the patriot, was concerned about the militia not fighting the “right” type of war. He stood up to his own father and those who believed that the British should be killed not fought, and fought to the end for the cause of freedom. Between Gabriel’s dedication to the cause and Benjamin Martin’s military experience, the dedication of the men fighting, the cause of freedom was fought on all fronts. However, during the fights, many men were lost, including another of Benjamin Martin’s sons, Gabriel. After Gabriel’s death, Martin’s fears were solidified and vowed not to fight for anyone’s causes. However, he realized that being a true patriot was the only way to honor his son’s deaths, so he fought for the cause of freedom and was truly victorious in his fights.
While The Patriot was a very successful major motion picture, characters from the movie actually mirror those of characters that were indeed real. Colonel Tavington’s character is based on the life of Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton the subordinate of Lt. General Charles Earl Cornwallis of the British Army. Benjamin Martin’s character was based on Francis Marion (which is also now a famous hotel in historic downtown...

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