The Patriot (Essay Sample)
My paper includes:
• a one-paragraph introduction that follows the guidelines provided
• a thesis at the end of the introduction, which states the claim that my paper is going to prove.
• double-spaced text
• page numbers
• footnotes that include PAGE NUMBER references
• several body paragraphs, no more than one page each
• specific examples from “The Patriot,” written so that someone who has not seen the movie can understand them.
• Summaries of relevant arguments and information from at least one of the assigned readings, written so that someone who has not read them can still follow your point.
• The relevant readings are those by Murrin, Bailyn, Waldstreicher, Olwell, and Morgan.
• a one-paragraph conclusion
• My paper is at least 5 pages long, including the first page.
Write an essay in which you advance and support an argument about what the movie, “The Patriot” gets right and gets wrong about the American Revolution, based on our readings.
In other words, think about what our readings tell you about the Revolution, its causes, course, and significance, and then decide what the movie represents well and poorly on that basis. Your task is not simply to summarize the historical inaccuracies of the movie, but rather to think about the arguments of particular readings and use them in analyzing the movie.
Examples of an appropriate approach to this paper would include:
“The Patriot” does a good job of demonstrating how the colonists thought of themselves as freeborn Englishmen, but it completely avoids the topic of slavery, which was central to South Carolina’s revolutionary struggle.
David Waldstreicher’s argument about British views of the colonists and colonial views of themselves are well-illustrated in “The Patriot,” but the movie goes too far in its representation of British attacks on liberty.
(1) set out the problem to be discussed;
In most cases, the first sentence should indicate the particular time and place being studied. NEVER begin a history paper with absurdly general phrases like, "since the beginning of time," or "humans have always. . . ." or “women are always.”
Get specific as early as possible. By the end of the intro, the reader must know the specific issue, case, or topic, as well as your approach to it.
(2) define key terms that will be used in that discussion if needed;
This does not mean reaching for the dictionary, and telling your professor the Webster’s Dictionary definition of a particular term. It might mean indicating that you are going to explore a big topic through a particular case study, or study one aspect of a larger event.
The American Revolution was a civil war in the sense that a large minority of the colonists remained loyal to Great Britain.
(3) outline the structure of the argument;
Your reader should be able to outline the body of your paper, at least in general terms, from your introduction. For example, if you want to discuss the economic, military, and familial aspects of the Revolution, know that you reader will expect you to discuss those topics in the order you mention them in your introduction.
(4) CLEARLY STATE THE THESIS.
The thesis is where you state your argument. For Paper 2, your thesis will take some version of this general form. “The Patriot” does a good job of depicting X, but it ignores/distorts Y.
Even though, there are various factors that caused American Revolution, Americans feared that the British would likely deprive them of their liberties. The Patriot follows the story of a reluctant militiaman Benjamin Martin in South Carolina who decides to take up arms against the imperial British troops in the Revolutionary war. The actions of the protagonist and the antagonist British Colonel Tavington provides a basis for the characterization of the war pitying the Patriots versus the British troops and Loyalists on one hand. Benjamin Martin is also a hardworking farmer who frees slaves. This essay focuses on the film’s portrayal of slavery and the British highlighting on incidences that correctly capture the situation during the revolutionary war and the wrong depictions.
Depiction of Slavery
To David Waldstreicher, the issue of slavery was not straight forward as depicted in the Patriot, where the free men seem to be working for the white meant their own free will. Waldstreicher discusses the case Benjamin Franklin, who was considered to be an advocate for anti slavery, but Franklin had been indentured servant, who ran from his brother because of mistreatment, but he also kept slaves. Nonetheless, the political discussions of slavery are the one which played a key role towards civil liberties. The film supposes that the War of Independence liberated African Americans, where black workers working in farms were free men rather than slaves, but this is wrong as slavery was still present in the South for almost eighty years later. In any case, in 1782, the defeated British troops took slaves of loyalist refugees who were later taken to new plantations in British Florida or Jamaica during the American Revolution.
The film is right in portraying the actions of some white farmers who freed slaves, but it is noteworthy that it is the wealthy people who mostly held slaves. As such, the loss of slave would have been a devastating to farmers who relied on their labor. The depiction of slavery and events leading up to the American War of Independence departs from the reality. In particular, the film dodges the problem of slavery, ignoring the existence of slaveholders. The lead character is an all American hero who is not a slave holder, and this deflects attention from the issue of slavery and how this may have an important factor in shaping the American War of independence. The revolutionary storm did allow a few slaves to gain freedom, but some of the low country slaves simply drifited from areas such as Charleston into different areas still as slaves.
Depiction of the British, loyalists and the patriots
The British were viewed with suspicion by the Americans, and the film’s depiction of relations between the British and Americans aptly depicts this animosity. Even though, the characters mirror historical figures, the portrayal of the British people in the film is harshly brutal. For instance Colonel Tavington is depicted as a sadistic person who took pleasure in torturing the Americans, and this representation is based on the supposed actions of another British General. In any case, at the time there were no explicit rules of war similar to the Geneva Convention, and hence interpreting the historical event ought to take into account the historical context. The atrocities associated with Tarleton were one of the reasons for the growing support of the American Revolution among Americans giants Loyalists and the British rule.
The atrocities attributed to the British appear gruesome in the 21st century, and although there were exaggerated, the horrors of war is laid bare in the film. The fictitious elements in the story obscure the reality about the actual atrocities committed in the war. In particular, the burning of ...
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