The Farce of Heroism
The concepts of heroism in war depicted in Birth of a Nation (1915) and The General (1927) are much the same throughout the two films, but the theory of heroism is much different toward the end of the films. The heroism concept portrayed in Birth of a Nation is one of pure and true heart with no stopping until death as was the perceived way of soldiers in the time period. However later in the film the "hero's welcome home" seemed rather tragic and depressing. While the heroism portrayed in both films tended to be satirical and offered a jab at the concept of heroism in war. There is one main congruency between the two films and that being: Heroism is best suited for what your true beliefs are.
Birth of a Nation, which was the most watched film of all time, was filmed and released after World War I had broken out.
With the imminent U.S. involvement upcoming, the picture of the undaunted hero running to his demise, with flag in hand and pride in his heart, was something the audience wanted to see to ease their insecurities about war. This very long, approximately three hours, saga of two families in the Civil War made it seem that a true hero would die for the greater good of the "Nation" and he would be immortalized in the eyes of his peers. With this thought in mind the every male rushes off to enlist and become heroes for their families. The truth behind the matter became very evident when first the "hero", saved by his best friend/enemy, was to be sentenced to death by his saviors/captors. Once he is released, due to his mother's pleadings to the president for him, he travels home to his...