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Word Count: 787
Mankind engaging in war driven by whatever instincts guide him seeks to keep the defeats and victories of battle in his memory and on his conscience To accomplish this men have used paint and canvas ink and paper or instrument and song in their effort to communicate the tragedy and glory of war Never before the career of DW Griffith had anyone attempted to bring the subject to film The result of his efforts weaknesses aside mark a change in attitude towards film as a media Perhaps audiences previously going to a picture expected emotional manipulation After all years before the film Birth of a nation makers of film employed techniques to evoke pathos from viewers whether through the use of a sobbing mother a frightened child or what have you In this respect the film was not a ground-breaker However through its effective use of devices such as symbolism foreshadowing and allusions as well as building on and arguably perfecting film techniques such as continuity editing intercutting and close-ups he transformed film from mere entertainment to art and propaganda To present and explore a theme symbolism is used everywhere in literature Whether the image is subtle or obvious it is regardless a sign of considerable calculation and effort In Birth of a nation Griffith places symbols everywhere in doing this he merges literary devices of written works with his own visual works For instance the parched corn symbol in the scene where the southern army is eating symbolizes their desperation in the face of defeat This imagery proves that Griffith wasnt just presenting actors and a plot he intended to dig far deeper than that into the realm of a clever storyteller Another example of his unique style is the use of foreshadowing another literary device now commonly employed in film The most prominent example of this is the scene where two gentlemen are talking and
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