What are the various motivations for joining the Union Army for each of the three men named above (Thomas, Major-Sergeant Rawlins, and Trip) How do those motivations change for each man and transform the black soldiers, In what ways do these different motivations reflect on the different purposes and goals of the Civil War itself
Since the beginning of America as a nation, the North and the South always had one clear distinction that eventually became the root of numerous disagreements: slavery. The issue of slaves was even the major cause of what had triggered the Civil War to erupt between the two regions. Towards the beginning of the Civil War, the Union army had suffered numerous defeats such as the 1st and 2nd Bull Run, and Antietam. Through the string of defeats, Northerners started to question the idea of freeing the slaves in the South, which raised some to oppose, and some to support. Finally, after much consideration and thought, Abraham Lincoln decided to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 that officially set the slaves in the seceded areas of the South free, and opened the Union forces to them for enlistment. The first ???colored???, volunteer regiment of the Union forces, as shown in the movie ???Glory???, was the 54th Massachusetts. The movie ???Glory??? demonstrates black soldiers who have enlisted into the Union forces for their own personal reasons, but over time, they came to risk their lives to achieve the true glory of selflessly and fearlessly putting their lives at risk for the greater cause of the Union, which is unity. The three main characters of the movie (1) Thomas, a free and intellectual black man, (2) Major-Sergeant Rawlins, an honorable and wise leader, and (3) Trip, an angry former slave who has been mistreated by the whites, are perfect examples of soldiers who initially had their own individual motivations for fighting in the war, but those incentives changes, and they ended up fighting for the Union cause. Edusson is all about government – let us instruct something we feel robustly enthusiastic about and you will consider your financial aspects and tasks differently henceforward.
Thomas, born a free black man and acted as if he was one of the whites, may have joined the army because enlistment was one thing that distinguished him from being completely similar to the whites, and he wanted to fight in the armed forces like they did. When Thomas first met Tripp, Thomas was acting in an intellectual matter and spoke in a manner similar to the whites that Tripp called him ???snowflake???. Thomas was not afraid to show and act in a way that clearly distinguished himself from the other blacks and through his actions; he showed some sense of pride that he was like a white man. It can be seen that Thomas clearly strove to be like a white man, and could have enlisted because fighting in the army is what a white man would do. Towards the beginning of the movie, Thomas also never participated in the group of blacks who were singing with each other around the fire. Thomas??™ lack of participation and socialization with the other black soldiers shows that he didn??™t feel like he was one of them, but instead, felt like he was part of the white community. But as the movie progressed, Thomas started to socialize more with the blacks, and even ended up singing and praying along with them around the fire. This change shows that Thomas was feeling more a part of the blacks and his motivations could have slightly changed as he no longer only fought for the acceptance of the whites, but also for his fellow blacks. Before the regiment marched onto Fort Wagner, Colonel Shaw asked who would carry the Union flag if the current flag bearer were to fall, and Thomas courageously volunteered. By offering to carry the flag, Thomas is making it clear that he believed and wanted to fight for what the flag symbolized, which is the unity between the North and the South, and unity of the black and the whites. By the end of the movie, Thomas was no longer fighting to prove that he could be completely like the whites, but for the greater ideals of the country of freedom and unification of the Civil War.
Before blacks were allowed to enlist in the Union forces, Major-Sergeant Rawlins has been digging up graves to bury the numerous white soldiers who have fallen during the many battles of the Civil War. In one scene, Rawlins says to trip ?????¦dyings been what these white boys have been doing for going on three years now! Dying by the thousands! Dying for [you], fool!… And all this time I keep askin myself, when, O Lord, when its gonna be our time??? Through this conversation, Rawlins reveals that he thinks the white men have been dying for the sake of the blacks, and dying because of them. Since then he has been determined to do his part and fight for the blacks as well. The night before the big battle onto Fort Wagner, Rawlins says in the black prayer group that ???we want you to let our folks know that we died facing the enemy! We want em to know that we went down standing up!??? Rawlins recognizes that they might die, but that even if they do, they will do it ???standing up???, or courageously because over the time, the black soldiers have grown to be brave fighting men. Rawlins also subtly implies that the black soldiers were fighting for the whole of the Union by referring to the Southern rebels as ???the enemy???. This shows that he was not only fighting for the black soldiers and for the freedom of the slaves, but also for the Union because they are fighting the common enemy. Rawlins had a selfless motivation for enlisting in the Union forces because he had wanted to contribute to the fight for the freedom of the blacks, but as he grew to change while training in the regiment, he came to recognize and fight against the Southern whites as the common enemy, and for the elevated cause of the unity and the freedom of the Union.
Throughout most of the movie, ???Glory???, Tripp was portrayed to be an angry character that has established a despicable attitude towards the whites. When Colonel Shaw offered Trip the position to carry the Union flag, Trip refused and said ???I ain??™t fighting this war for you, sir.??? Tripp is making it clear that he isn??™t fighting for the whites and for the Union, but he is fighting for himself and for the blacks. He refused to carry the flag in battle because if he did so, it would seem like he was fighting for the Union cause. The flag also symbolized unity, and at this time, Tripp didn??™t believe that the Civil War could bring unity between the blacks and the whites. In the scene where Tripp was caught looking for shoes, and was whipped because they thought he wanted to run away, his back revealed many whip marks and scars. Since whipping was a form of punishment of the Southern whites on their slaves, this shows that Tripp could be angry at the Southern whites that had previously punished him and may have fought in the war for revenge against them. Despite his pessimistic and angry attitude, Tripp shows signs of change the first time the black soldiers were given the blue uniforms that the white soldiers wore. In the scene where the regiment walked through town and white and blacks surrounded then and cheered them on, Trip??™s face glowed with pride and felt proud that he was part of the army. This is when Tripp started to change as he was starting to feel, in a way, more accepted by the whites because he was fighting in the Union forces. The most important scene that showed a complete change in Tripp??™s motivation to fight was the scene when Colonel Shaw, their leader, was killed on their attack in Fort Wagner and Tripp picked up the Union flag, and encouraged the other soldiers to move forward into the fort of the Confederates. By carrying that flag, Tripp was no longer fighting just for revenge on the Southern whites, he was fighting for the Union, which is what that flag symbolizes. When Tripp continued to fight and encouraged his fellow troops to do the same after Colonel Shaw had fallen, he is showing initiative and the willingness to fight even without a leader. Throughout the movie, Tripp underwent notable changes from a character that despised the whites to a character that put his own life in danger by his own will to fight for the Union and the North.
Initially, the Civil War had been mainly focused on regaining the land of the Southern states that had seceded. But when the North issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves in those seceded areas and allowed them to enlist in the Union forces, the meaning of the war elevated. Even though individual black soldiers, like the ones depicted in the movie ???Glory???, had their own personal reasons for enlistment, they eventually came to fight for the cause of the Civil War which was to fight for ideals of the North, for unity between the North and the South, and for freedom.