Analysis Of D. W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation

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In D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation the utilization of parallel-editing and mise-en-scene portrays how sectionalism led to opposing views that caused turmoil everywhere in the nation, not only on the battlefield.

The sectional views that led to war are seen in how the Southern view of this film clearly views the blacks as stereotypes in which it victimizes the whites during the Restoration period. The scene of the black legislature session shows both blacks and whites, blacks who have less luxurious costumes than those of the white men. There are more blacks thus defending the intertitle “helpless white minority” in how the costumes of the blacks indicate their “savagery” and informalness. The setting is in a court as there are many seats,
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With the debates of slavery revolving the nation, the nation grew sectionalized from the time slaves were introduced during the colonial days. Secession of the South and other states was caused by the election of Lincoln whom they believed wanted to emancipate slaves and destroy the antebellum way of life, one of their fears portrayed in this film. A scene to capture this fear is the green tint scene as the Cameron family interact with their ‘happy’ slaves on the plantations which then proceeds to the slaves dancing. Moreover this scene shows particularly the view of Southerners and how they defended pro slavery through claims that their slaves were happier in how they sang and stayed loyal to them a view that was opposed by the North when Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published and increased the abolitionist voice. This all was before the Civil War when Lincoln would be elected as seen in the intertitle in an orange tint “If the North Carries the Election the South Will Secede”. During the Civil War the South went through economic turmoil as exemplified in the scene where the Cameron family sell their belongings in hopes to help the war effort. This also portrays how sectionalism led to turmoil in how the South gradually lost the war and as a result of the war “would only be left with memories”. Turmoil …show more content…
Despite the war ending, adversity continued on due to the opposing views, those of the abolitionist North and that of the South who condemned blacks and feared what they could do to them if they were freed and could do anything. Among many other scenes the ones chosen show the Southern fear, fears that the director may have lived through his childhood during the Civil War which helped him in shaping this view that influenced his film. Most of the scenes chosen are those that in history were important, from the time before the war, the murder of Lincoln, and the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan which mark the times where the sectional tensions

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