American Heroism: the Last of the Mohicans and the Birth of a Nation

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American heroism is a term that started to show itself in the early years of the creation of America as a nation and before hand when America was first founded and explored as a frontier. Heroism defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is simply, Great Bravery (Oxford, 2013). Heroism only consists of someone doing something brave, being courageous in the face of danger being someone who other people want to follow and emulate. Heroism in itself is the basis for American heroism but with the addition of American in the beginning of the term it also adds something to the definition as well. American heroism demands civilization or becoming civilized in itself to be the proper form of American heroism. It can not be American heroism unless civilization is already present or is there for the development of civilization. In both D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation and James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel, The Last of the Mohicans, American heroism is at the forefront of the plot but only due to the rising development of civilization of the characters, settings, and plot. The definition of civilization by the Oxford English Dictionary is, the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organization (Oxford, 2013). Civilization is not the sole part of American heroism but it is a major point for it’s creation and continued use in the development of American culture. America was developing itself as a nation, while gaining both populace and industry. It began to model itself after many European countries and using their influence on development, implemented civilization as a critical factor for their own form of heroism, American heroism.

Both The Birth of a Nation and The Last of the Mohicans take place in the period 2
of the creation of America as both a country and a nation. But in particular for, The Last of the Mohicans, it is during the period when America was just being founded and the first European...
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