Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a historical drama that follows the political aspects of the last four months of the American Civil War and Lincoln’s life as Lincoln strives to gain ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which would bring an end to slavery and unlawful involuntary servitude in the United States. Spielberg, unlike other historical directors, has successfully portrayed Abraham Lincoln from several angles; the fatherly Lincoln who cares for his sons the best he can, the husband who’s career puts stress on his relationship, the charismatic and strong spoken speaker, attempting to diplomatically persuade congressmen for votes for the Amendment, the understanding martial executive, working to make the best decisions for the War, and the stressed president, who must accommodate himself with the burdens of the presidency are interwoven archetypal character roles that Lincoln fills accordingly.
Early in the movie, Lincoln is seen lying beside his young son, Tad Lincoln, on one of the hearths of the White House, waking Tad, who had fallen asleep playing with little metal soldiers on a war strategy map, whereupon Lincoln carried him to bed and tucked him in. It reawakened memories of falling asleep on the couch or in the car as a kid, and waking up in my bed, where my dad had carried me. The next day, Lincoln was in the war room, where his consultants noticed that the so-important war map, a “precise and dynamic instrument,” had been slightly burned, where Lincoln coolly remarked that he had only let his son play with it on the hearth. It made me think of when I was a child and, as so many pictures portray, my father would allow my brother and I to dress up in his military gear, a variety of helmets, bulletproof vests, boots, and packs with equipment dripping from them, and we would get to see my dad’s (unloaded) guns as he cleaned them casually on the couch while teaching us about gun safety....
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