Books and Movies Reviews

Civil Rights Movement and The Clansman

“The film is many things: repulsive, naive, biased, simplistic, historically inaccurate and astonishing in its view of history and racist glorification of the KKK. Yet it tremendously significant and powerful work of art with extraordinary effect and brilliantly-filmed sequences” (Dirks). The movie was based on one man’s simple but yet repulsive story. The flaw in past American actions that can well be seen is in a group of white men named the Klu Klux Klan, who were re-influenced into their hateful rage by one man’s Romantic novel, called The Clansman.

The book, The Clansman-An Historical Romance of the Klu Klux Klan, was written by Thomas Dixon Jr. Growing up during the reconstruction era, he was imbued with the folk image of the Klan as the savior of the south (Kinney). When he grew up he wrote 22 novels and plays about social defects, but before that he was a southern minister. He befriended 3 presidents, including Woodrow Wilson (Cook) who he attended John Hopkins University with. As a student reading Darwin, Huxley, and Spencer, he suffered a brief period of religious doubt. But he rebounded stronger and went on to lecture on denying blacks of political equality and denying women of working out of the house (Kinney) All though, his work is mainly shunned, Dixon clearly foreshadowed the politicized television evangelists of the modern south.

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Perhaps the main reason he wrote the book was to express his ideas on what he felt would happen in real life. From his own beliefs, black men were horrible crazy men with only one thing on their mind, while women were innocent and helpless. With these two characters there needed to be a hero and so knowing from his own standards that the clan was the savior of the south and perhaps the nation, he used the clansman to serve as the hero in the novel, the super most being in the whole story.

The book its self is a vivid portrayal of the aspects of the reconstruction. For example, the idea…

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