History In The Film Glory

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When Hollywood is formulating a way to adapt history into a film, its accuracies and inaccuracies must be considered. The film Glory tells the heroic tale of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, starting with its formation and concluding with the assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. However, Hollywood romanticizes history in order to influence the viewer’s perception of historical events. The scholarship that has been read in class and the film Glory show the continued prejudice against African American soldiers, prevalence and significance of death and burial, and the immorality that war causes. The film contains many narrated letters from Captain Robert Gould Shaw to his family to inform them of the progress of the war. Before the Battle of Antietam, Shaw writes that,…show more content…
Downs wrote, “there were no general hospitals, when the war began, and ‘hospitals had to be improvised, in hotels, halls, and other unsuitable buildings.’”3 The focus of both Union and Confederate governments and officials were not on medical and health concerns, making the casualties of battle more dire, as “no one was prepared to treat the hundreds of soldiers who were severely wounded, nor were they prepared to bury the dead bodies… the military lacked the infrastructure and manpower necessary to reduce many of the dying and wounded.”4 The few scenes that involve injury and medical assistance do not reflect the extent to which there was a lack of medical infrastructure in place during the war, nor does it show the illness that plagued camps. Overall, the problems of medicine and illness were not addressed in the film, and when they were, they were not portrayed in a way that was consistent with Jim Downs’
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