Glory: The Movie Essay

Submitted By henrychoy9
Words: 878
Pages: 4

Black and White Black slavery was one of the most talked about topics back in the mid 1700’s and mid 1800’s; but it was time to move on from this era as an all-black regiment began to join forces with white, high-ranked officers. This movie Glory perfectly portrays how black people, who were once slaves, work with white officers, who would be considered as their masters – once again. Black people were always considered to be in a lower class than white people, but because they are now in one unit, on the same boat, it will be necessary for the two races to forget about colours to achieve a shared goal. Starring two of the few main characters, Matthew Broderick (as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw) and Denzel Washington (as Private Trip), it demonstrates how the relationship between these two characters - along with many other soldiers - start to bond as the plotline progresses. In the beginning of the movie, Shaw was clearly shown to be a character who is afraid of death as he cowardly drops down, covers his head, and pretends to be one of the many dead soldiers while all the others are left out there fighting for their very own life and country; but he was found alive by a gravedigger (Morgan Freeman) who happens to be one the volunteer infantries later on when Colonel Shaw becomes the officer in command of an all-black regiment – the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. At first, Colonel Shaw was a very strict officer to the men, as he didn’t care about them just like any of the other officers since he thought that they were simply black people used as manual labor force. Colonel Shaw does not find the way he treats the black soldiers unfair until Major Forbes questions him as to “why [he treats] the men this way [?]” Trip, on the other hand, is a very conflicting character with not only Colonel Shaw, but also many other soldiers. The night after Private Thomas Searles was hit by Sergeant Mulcahy, Trip already expresses his hate towards Shaw when he says, “[Shaw’s] a weak white boy, and beatin’ on a nigger make him feel stronger” to his roommates. Both Shaw and Trip were selfish in their own ways until they realized that they are on the same boat. Trip went deserting one night, and was caught; but Shaw and the higher-ranking officers did not know what his objective was until Sergeant Rawlins told Shaw that “[he] ran off to find him some shoes” after he had been whipped, as a punishment, in front of the other soldiers. Later on, he then sees that these men are no longer slaves but true soldiers who want to fight, and he gives them the respect that they deserve and earn. As a result of this, Shaw decides to go to the quartermaster’s office to request six hundred pair of shoes; although he says that “[he doesn’t] have any,” Shaw knows that he is just not giving them out to the soldiers simply because they are black. Because “[they] are a coloured regiment, [they] will be paid $10 a month,” this caused the soldiers to rather not take the money until they are paid an equal amount as the white soldiers; and since Shaw saw all this happen, he announces to everyone that “if you men will take no pay, then none of us will.” Although “casualties in the leading…