Character Dignity & Self Respect

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  • Topic: 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Robert Gould Shaw, Ethics
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  • Published : May 15, 2013
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Character, Dignity and Self-Respect
Linda Muse
PHI2000 – u05a1
Summer 2012
Professor Wentz


The movie I chose to watch was Glory (1989). Glory is the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of African American men, led by Colonel Robert Shaw, whom I have chosen to compare. The Colonel is a white man who fights the bigotry of the enemy, who have vowed to kill any officers who lead the troops and by his own commanding officers who have kept them out of the war to do their dirty work. Colonel Shaw starts the War eager and zealous for the fight, the battle of Antietam leaves his disillusioned and wounded. Synopsis

Robert Shaw grew up in a life of wealth and privilege in Boston. He was raised in a home that valued character, dignity and self-respect. His family had personal and political connections with then Governor John Andrew and President Abraham Lincoln. The enemy is not only the Confederate Army but the northern whites who have resisted allowing blacks to fight for their freedom and emancipation. The Colonel puts Major Cabot Forbes, his best friend, in as his second in command. The men are drilled by the sadistic Sargent Major Mulcahy who breaks them with savagery and disrespect. The Colonel turns a blind eye to the treatment of the black soldiers. One of the first recruits is a friend of Robert and Cabot, Thomas Searles. Cabot reminds Robert that Thomas is their friend and he needs to stop the Running Header: CHARACTER, DIGNITY and SELF-RESPECT 3 harsh treatment of the recruits. Robert is hardened by what he has seen and experienced at the battle of Antietam and stands coldly on Army protocol.

Robert slowly comes back to his true...
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