Gangs of New York

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Gangs of New York: Who’s A True American?

“You can hire half the poor to kill the other half.” Boss Tweed spoke these words in reference to the Draft Riots. It shows that you can easily turn the poor against each other, if you bring money into the situation. Gangs of New York is about the separation of the Irish and the Natives, which eventually led into larger conflicts. In this film there are two important characters, Amsterdam Vallon and Boyle McGloin, who were both Irishmen in the Five Points. Amsterdam was the son of Priest Vallon and he became a positive Irish Leader who was looked up to by many. Boyle McGloin was an Irishmen who was a Dead Rabbit, but later joined Bill “The Butcher” Cutting and became a “Native”. The character who most represents a true American is Amsterdam Vallon because he accepted everyone for who they were, he doesn’t show fear and he believes that everyone should be treated equally. The character who would be most harmful to American society is Boyle McGloin because he is a racist follower, who believes that if you’re not a “Native” than you’re not worthy or important.

Amsterdam believes that in order to be a true American you had to be accepting of others, able to voice your opinions, not show fear, and if you have beliefs than stick to them. In the movie he shows four qualities which proves that he is a true American. In the movie Amsterdam shows that he isn’t afraid of Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, no matter what, he will always have and be strong for his Irish/Catholic beliefs. Also, throughout the movie he also till claimed to be an Irishmen whether than a Native. He never gives up because throughout the movie he continues to strive for revenge against Bill and to try to get as close to him as possible. It was a part of the movie where Amsterdam had attempted to kill Bill, but wasn’t successful. Bill beat him very badly, and he had to recover for at least 3 months. After that incident he still proceeded in his revenge...
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