The movie “Gangs of New York” has been discussed from variety of different perspectives; however, only very few people realise that it contains a strong political message, as opposed to being just another Hollywood flick, filled with violence and cheap sentiments. This was one of the reasons why I have chosen to discuss the meaning of this movie, within a context of working on current academic assignment.
Apparently, “Gangs of New York” contains a clue as to the real reason why, up until comparatively recent times, America has been rightly referred to as “paradise on Earth” – it is namely American citizens’ willingness to actively protect the American way of life, which used to preserve this country’s national integrity. The first White settlers that came to America were overwhelmingly Protestant, which is why, instead of praying Saint Mary to provide them with “blessings”, they embarked on building factories, schools, and railroads, while understanding perfectly well that material riches do not fall out of sky.
Thus, the confrontation between “natives” (Protestants) and newly arrived Irish immigrants (Catholics), depicted in “Gangs of New York”, allow us to get a better insight on the actual importance of citizens’ ability to “stand their ground”, when it comes to dealing with what movie’s most important characters Bill the Butcher referred to as “hordes of foreigners”: “On my challenge, by the ancient laws of combat, we are met at this chosen ground to settle for good and all who holds sway over the Five Points – us natives, born right wise to this fine land, or the foreign hordes defiling it” (IMDB 2003). This is why, watching “Gangs of New York” would come in particularly handy for those who strive to gain an understanding of the innate essence of current socio-political realities in America.