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Introduction to Medial Analysis
Medial Analysis involves a review of the movie “Lincoln’’ in which the America’s fights for the rights of the African Americans, who constantly face slavery and discrimination in war, is shown. This analysis will look into some concepts, trust, upward influence and humor, which are portrayed in the movie. The main aim of the essay is to analyze the movie, which shows various unfolding events surrounding a debate on passage of the US 13th Amendment, which is anti-slavery.
Summary of the Movie, “Lincoln’’
The movie opens with people fighting during the last moments of Civil War and thereafter a conversation between two soldiers of war and the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. There is what is referred to as Southern rebellion, which to Lincoln seemed to be both as wrong and illegal. They are no better than bank robbers since they do not respect the laws of the South as though secession has taken place. But since that has not happened it means the slaves remain slaves whether there is Proclamation or not, and therefore voting for the 13th amendment, which would recognize the rights of the African American people, was absolutely necessary He, therefore, puts pressure on his Congressmen to do everything they can to ensure nothing hinders them from making the amendment go through. Those supporting the 13th constitutional amendment in the US senate, mainly Republicans, believe that this may be one of the strategies to end the Civil War. He has to work behind the scenes to convince Democrats to support the amendment. During his re-election into the second term in office, Lincoln uses his power and the solemn oath he made to push for the rights of the people whether acting within or outside the States’ law. He is not only a great orator but a story-teller full of humor as shown in many of his conversations: with the soldiers, his wife and his opponents
It is difficult to determine the accuracy of this movie owing to the disguise of Thaddeus Stephens as he puts on a wig with a black mistress beside him. The use of counterfeiting bribery and patronage in his bid to achieve greater personal benefits raises questions of whether he could actually be a noble politician or rather a trusted leader. There is an order by Lincoln to the Congressmen to do whatever they can to pass the 13th Amendment and he says, “… and I expect to you procure those votes.” The president’s wife tells him that the people love him more than anyone else and, therefore, warns him of the temptation of doing anything only to please them. The president does not trust William Steward that the perceived twenty votes to push through the 13th Amendment was easy to get. His wife, Mary, trusts her husband’s pursuit of the passage of the amendment and, therefore, she is very optimistic of winning (Lincoln (2012)).
In the dialogue between the president and soldier Corporal Ira Clark, the soldier says that the white people can “In fifty years abide the idea of idea of Negro lieutenants and captains. In fifty years, maybe a Negro colonel. In a hundred years, the vote’’ which leaves the president smiling at the exaggeration of the years and, hence, a source of humor. The soldier goes ahead to remind the president that if he would be hired again after the war, the job should not be about war, since “the smell of bootblack’’ and it would not be comfortable cutting his air short. The president adds that he had not got a man who would cut his hair and so it would not be a big deal for the corporal to have his hair. One of the commissioners opposing his 13th amendment is asking him if his lot are rebels, guilty of treason and, hence, deserved to be hanged. Lincoln’s response was a humorous one, “Yes, that is so.’’ Lincoln’s story of a 77 year old lady murdering her 83 years old husband by fracturing his skull using a stick of firewood since he was almost choking her, is quite sad and equally humorous.
This refers to an organizational communication in a superior –subordinate relationship where the influencing agent is a subordinate and the target of influence is a superior (Ansari, n.d.). The corporal war soldier influences president Lincoln to accept hiring him and he gives conditions of such an agreement, which the president is not opposed to. The president also humorously says that he is bound by an oath to respond to a distress signal. He goes to open the door after hearing a knock only to find that it was his son, Tad. The president is influenced by Tad to show him the slave plates of photographs or else he would continue having nightmares and his father gives in. A president is expected to be autocratic and acting with minimal influence, however, Lincoln says he was convinced the people would correct him for wrongfully signing the Emancipation of Proclamation (Lincoln Trailer, 2012).
The movie is not a biography, but an elaborate unfolding of the last few months of Lincoln and the role he played in the United States’ constitutional amendment process, especially the 13th Amendment, which is against slavery. This debate presents the president to be more on the human side as opposed to an iconic figure, for instance, he promises to rehire the black war soldiers after war and also enable them to have positions in the military, such as lieutenant. The movie is, however, not without shortcomings since in some of the president’s instances it seemed overblown. The movie depicts Lincoln’s struggle to justify the anti-slavery amendment to the Constitution despite the duplication of the apparent Emancipation Proclamation, in which slaves were freed even before slavery had been declared illegal. It is important to learn from Lincoln that when pursuing a just course, one should not be discouraged by the magnitude of the opposing forces or the fear and shame of failing.
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