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Analysis of Movie Glory
Leadership of the leader
Glory and Leadership
Glory is a movie directed by Edward Zwick and released in 1989. It is about a white Colonel
Shaw forms a black army to fight for racial equality. It is not only a movie about Civil War
and fighting for national freedom, it is also a movie about racial relationships and beliefs.
Although Colonel Shaw is a critical character in the movie, I still believe his stringent but
caring attitude toward black soldiers makes him a good leader. As a white leader who is
responsible for training a group of black soldiers, I notice there is a strong contradiction from
Colonel Shaw. That is, if Shaw sets a high expectation and trains black soldiers hard, he
could be considered as a “hard man” or “a swell” in the perspective of soldiers and this might
set him even further apart from soldiers. However, if Shaw does not train the soldiers hard,
they will be too vulnerable to be on the battlefield. For Shaw, It is hard to balance this
relationship with his soldiers.
Nevertheless, I think Shaw does a good job of managing the relationship. On the one hand,
He is strict about daily training and following military regulations. There is a scene that Shaw
bites the bullet and orders the sergeant to whip the deserter Trip. I can see the hurt Shaw
feels after he saw the scars on Trip’s back and when the sergeant whips Trip. This scene
pushes the conflict between Shaw and Trip to a higher level. Shaw is a good leader since he
insists on his principles and instills soldiers on how to be good fighters. On the other hand,
Shaw cares for the soldiers very much. There is a scene that Shaw goes into the
quartermaster’s office and strips away the lie of “do not have any shoes and socks”. Shaw
smashes things and breaks things to show his determination of getting supplies for his
soldiers. This scene is memorable for me because I can see the discontent and angry on his
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face, which forms a contrast with his smile when he leaves after he gets this issue done. I
believe only a good leader will act so sincerely for his soldiers. This scene is important
because this is when Shaw and soldiers start to build mutual concern and trust. From these
two scenes I analyzed, I think Shaw is a good leader.
Thomas Cripps, in his article “Glory as a Meditation on the Saint-Gaudens Monument”,
demonstrates the growth of Colonel Shaw to show his success of learning to be a good leader.
“Thus, each set-piece, neatly constructed vignette, or dramatic incident seemed placed to
teach Colonel Shaw and his men about each other”(Cripps, 247). This passage(from page
247-249) demonstrates that as Colonel Shaw gets along with his soldiers, he becomes more
sympathetic to this group and he gives spiritual concern to them despite the truth that all his
colleagues do not give hope to this army. Cripps points out: “Each incident allowing us to see
his(Shaw) own incremental learning. Although Cripps does not explicitly say Shaw is a
good leader, he does state Shaw is learning about his soldiers. The absent shoes and whipping
deserter, according to the author, are the most deeply felt lessons for Shaw. The “learning
process” strengthens Shaw’s conviction and makes him more actively involved in the fight
for racial equality. Although Shaw does not have any former experience of being a leader, the
“incremental learning” process shows that he has the determination and confidence of being a
good leader. Shaw’s action of tearing up his pay voucher and confronting with quartermaster
for supplies is the best proof. As the white leader of the black army, Shaw is not influenced
by the critics around him and he firmly follows his duty and belief. All of these facts and
details entitle Shaw to be a good leader.
In American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film, Toplin states that the success of the
film is also shown in its “indication about how enlightened thinking can transform the way in
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which differences are negotiated throughout society”(Toplin,73). In other words, this movie
vividly shows how a single individual Colonel Shaw with confident belief breaks
people’s stereotypes. “When he(Shaw) encounters explicit racism expressed in the attitudes
of his superiors, Shaw is resolute in his efforts to ‘correct’ their attitudes”(Toplin, 73). “It is
Shaw, too, who insists on his regiment’s readiness to fight and who secures the opportunity to
lead the assault on Fort Wagner”(Toplin,73). According to Toplin, Shaw is a very successful
character depicted in this movie since his beliefs and actions stand out from other characters.
Shaw’s resolute attitudes and convictions make the movie more profound and educational.
Shaw is willing to relinquish his status and privileges to integrate himself into the black
community. His solid conviction and belief are the key points to become a good leader.
Although Shaw is a stolid person, we can still observe that his conviction makes him have
more sympathy and concern for the black community, and this is why this army is well-
trained later in the story. Cripps puts emphasis on Shaw’s learning process. He talks about
how Shaw evolves over time as he interacts with the army and his colleagues. On the other
hand, Toplin concentrates on Shaw’s solid conviction. He focuses on Shaw’s inner worlds
that how his solid belief and conviction make him a good leader. Both sources imply Shaw as
a good leader but in different aspects.
Works Cited
Glory. Screenplay by James Kennaway. Dir. Edward Zwick. Perf. Matthew Broderick,
Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman. Culver City, CA: Tristar Pictures, 1989.
DVD special edition.
Blatt, Martin. “Glory - Hollywood History, Popular Culture, and the fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Regiment” in Hope & Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Regiment. “Glory as a Meditation on the Saint-Gaudens Monument” by
Thomas Cripps. U Mass Press, 2001.
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Hollywoods Civil War Dilemma: to Imagine or Unravel the Nation?: Gettysburg; Glory; Ride
with the Devil; Cold Mountain. American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film, by
Trevor B. Hollywood's Civil War Dilemma
McCrisken and Andrew Pepper, Edinburgh University Press, accessed 31 May 2021.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Analysis of Movie Glory Leadership of the leader Glory and Leadership Glory is a movie directed by Edward Zwick and released in 1989. It is about a white Colonel Shaw forms a black army to fight for racial equality. It is not only a movie about Civil War and fighting for national freedom, it is also a movie about racial relationships and beliefs. Although Colonel Shaw is a critical character in the movie, I still believe his stringent but caring attitude toward black soldiers makes him a good leader. As a white leader who is responsible for training a group of black soldiers, I notice there is a strong contradiction from Colonel Shaw. That is, if Shaw sets a high expectation and trains black soldiers hard, he could be considered as a “hard man” or “a swell” in the perspective of soldiers and this might set him even further apart from soldiers. However, if Shaw does not train the soldiers hard, they will be too vulnerable to be on the battlefield. For Shaw, It is hard to balance this relationship with his soldiers. Nevertheless, I think Shaw does a good job of managing the relationship. On the one hand, He is strict about daily training and following military regulations. There is a scene that Shaw bites the bullet and orders the sergeant to whip the “deserter” Trip. I can see the hurt Shaw feels after he saw the scars on Trip’s back and when the sergeant whips Trip. This scene pushes the conflict between Shaw and Trip to a higher level. Shaw is a good leader since he insists on his principles and instills soldiers on how to be good fighters. On the other hand, Shaw cares for the soldiers very much. There is a scene that Shaw goes into the quartermaster’s office and strips away the lie of “do not have any shoes and socks”. Shaw smashes things and breaks things to show his determination of getting supplies for his soldiers. This scene is memorable for me because I can see the discontent and angry on his face, which forms a contrast with his smile when he leaves after he gets this issue done. I believe only a good leader will act so sincerely for his soldiers. This scene is important because this is when Shaw and soldiers start to build mutual concern and trust. From these two scenes I analyzed, I think Shaw is a good leader. Thomas Cripps, in his article “Glory as a Meditation on the Saint-Gaudens Monument”, demonstrates the growth of Colonel Shaw to show his success of learning to be a good leader. “Thus, each set-piece, neatly constructed vignette, or dramatic incident seemed placed to teach Colonel Shaw and his men about each other”(Cripps, 247). This passage(from page 247-249) demonstrates that as Colonel Shaw gets along with his soldiers, he becomes more sympathetic to this group and he gives spiritual concern to them despite the truth that all his colleagues do not give hope to this army. Cripps points out: “Each incident allowing us to see his(Shaw) own incremental learning”. Although Cripps does not explicitly say Shaw is a good leader, he does state Shaw is learning about his soldiers. The absent shoes and whipping deserter, according to the author, are the most deeply felt lessons for Shaw. The “learning process” strengthens Shaw’s conviction and makes him more actively involved in the fight for racial equality. Although Shaw does not have any former experience of being a leader, the “incremental learning” process shows that he has the determination and confidence of being a good leader. Shaw’s action of tearing up his pay voucher and confronting with quartermaster for supplies is the best proof. As the white leader of the black army, Shaw is not influenced by the critics around him and he firmly follows his duty and belief. All of these facts and details entitle Shaw to be a good leader. In American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film, Toplin states that the success of the film is also shown in its “indication about how enlightened thinking can transform the way in which differences are negotiated throughout society”(Toplin,73). In other words, this movie vividly shows how a single individual – Colonel Shaw – with confident belief breaks people’s stereotypes. “When he(Shaw) encounters explicit racism expressed in the attitudes of his superiors, Shaw is resolute in his efforts to ‘correct’ their attitudes”(Toplin, 73). “It is Shaw, too, who insists on his regiment’s readiness to fight and who secures the opportunity to lead the assault on Fort Wagner”(Toplin,73). According to Toplin, Shaw is a very successful character depicted in this movie since his beliefs and actions stand out from other characters. Shaw’s resolute attitudes and convictions make the movie more profound and educational. Shaw is willing to relinquish his status and privileges to integrate himself into the black community. His solid conviction and belief are the key points to become a good leader. Although Shaw is a stolid person, we can still observe that his conviction makes him have more sympathy and concern for the black community, and this is why this army is welltrained later in the story. Cripps puts emphasis on Shaw’s learning process. He talks about how Shaw evolves over time as he interacts with the army and his colleagues. On the other hand, Toplin concentrates on Shaw’s solid conviction. He focuses on Shaw’s inner worlds that how his solid belief and conviction make him a good leader. Both sources imply Shaw as a good leader but in different aspects. Works Cited Glory. Screenplay by James Kennaway. Dir. Edward Zwick. Perf. Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman. Culver City, CA: Tristar Pictures, 1989. DVD special edition. Blatt, Martin. “Glory - Hollywood History, Popular Culture, and the fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment” in Hope & Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. “Glory as a Meditation on the Saint-Gaudens Monument” by Thomas Cripps. U Mass Press, 2001. “Hollywood’s Civil War Dilemma: to Imagine or Unravel the Nation?: Gettysburg; Glory; Ride with the Devil; Cold Mountain.” American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film, by Trevor B. “Hollywood's Civil War Dilemma ” McCrisken and Andrew Pepper, Edinburgh University Press, accessed 31 May 2021. Name: Description: ...
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