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Sean Tan Green 10/15/13 Cinematic Analysis for Quarter One Lincoln Lincoln takes place in 1865 America

a during early Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War. The film focuses on the powerful morality of individuals who find the strength to do remarkable things in spite of their opposition. The opening scene captures the full ruthlessness of the Civil War through a bloody battle. The scene cuts to a conversation between President Abraham Lincoln and two colored combatants. The two men sarcastically tell Lincoln that blacks will not gain the right to vote for another 100 years. Nearing the end of the Civil War, Lincoln ponders on the future of African Americans after slavery. He comes to the conclusion that the only solution for the abolition of slavery in America is through the passage of a constitutional amendment. Lincoln pushes to pass the Thirteenth Amendment immediately before the end of the Civil War. The passage of the amendment is successful in the Senate, but does not have enough support in the House. Despite the debate within his own Cabinet and the opposition in the House, Lincoln takes it upon himself and his staff to come up with the necessary votes by the end of the month. In order to do this, Lincoln does everything in his power, including bribing the members of the opposing party, the Democrats, with government positions in return for their vote. Lincoln is also burdened with the insanity of his wife, pressuring him to end the war for their son, even if it meant the rejection of the amendment. On January 31, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment passed in Congress by a margin of two votes. Lincolns perseverance through the opposition results in his success and marks a turning point in African American history. Two months later, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House symbolizing the end of the Civil War. The film concludes with the assassination of the president just days after the surrender. Throughout the film, Lincolns invulnerability from those against him results from the bold and confident actions that he chooses to carry out.

Sean Tan Green 10/15/13 Nearing the end of the Civil War, the economic and physical state of the nation continued to decline. Through the historic accuracy and the historiography, the film goes to show what life during the time period was and was not like. There are several historical in accuracies that are displayed in the film. This is mainly portrayed through the modern day cursing used by the characters. In one scene, House representative Thaddeus Stevens exclaims to Lincoln, I shit on the people. In another scene, one political fixer says, Ill be fucked at the arrival of Lincoln. Most likely this type of language would not have been used during the time period (Hertzberg). Another inaccuracy has to do with the organization of the House. During that period, there was a rule stating that members may not address each other directly, but instead take it the Speaker (Hertzberg). Despite this rule, House members in the film are portrayed engaging in taunting and uncivilized behavior. The film also has a significant meaning to the time it was produced. The film was released on November 16, 2012, nine days after the presidential election. If the film had been released before the election it would have been politicized. The director, Stephen Spielberg, said in an interview that the film was released following the election to give the film a chance to stand on its own (Labrecque). Another reason is to prevent tension between the Republican and Democratic parties. During the time period of the film, Democrats were portrayed as corrupt and full of despicable actions. Spielberg did not want to influence the voters decisions before the election had opened (Labrecque). This bias portrayal of the Democratic Party extols the Republican side. Another bias in the film is centered on Lincoln. The film is told from the perspective of Lincoln, through his Republican and Northern views. On account of this, the film does not equally represent the views and plans of the Confederacy, and therefore promotes the Union as the better of the two. The historic aspects of the film help to create a sense of reality during the time period and display how views and customs have changed.

Sean Tan Green 10/15/13 In the film Lincoln, the use of metaphors, presented through the form of dialogue, helps to portray the political views that President Lincoln has on emancipation. These metaphors not only inform the audience of Lincolns position on the matter, but also assist in persuading other characters to support his views. Lincoln uses a metaphor in attempt to convince House representative James Ashley to bring the anti-slavery amendment to the floor for debate. In the metaphor he compares the Thirteenth Amendment to a whale. Lincoln remarks, We've been chasing this whale for a long time. We've finally placed a harpoon in the monster's backwith one flop of his tail he'll smash the boat and send us all to eternity! Through the use of this quote, Lincoln displays his belief for immediate change. If the amendment fails to pass, slavery in America could continue, destroying all progress Lincoln has made on the matter. Another metaphor that Lincoln uses is in effort to persuade Thaddeus Stevens to work with him. Stevens, a pure abolitionist, believes that there should be equality for all; however, Lincoln prefers to focus on equality under emancipation. Lincoln tells Stevens that a compass will point you True North from where you're standing, but it's got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you'll encounter along the way. Although Lincolns goal is to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, he does not know what obstacles he will face or what he will accomplish along the way. This metaphor seems to convince Stevens, as he becomes the forefront representative advocating for the amendment. Lincolns dialogue is enhanced through the use of metaphors, allowing him to communicate his perspectives convincingly to those who oppose him.

Sean Tan Green 10/15/13 Works Cited Hertzberg, Hendrik. "Lincoln v. Lincoln." New Yorker. New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2012/12/whatsteven-spielbergs-lincoln-got-wrong-and-what-it-got-right.html>. Labrecque, Jeff. "Lincoln's politics: Who would it have hurt had it opened before the election?" Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly, 6 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/11/06/lincoln-election-politics/>.