New York City as a Character Essay

Pages: 2 (580 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: American History

New York City/Character

New York City as a Character

Gangs of New York is unusual in the way in which it focuses on New York City's history, framing the city and its criminal underworld during the Civil War as a character unto itself. The inspiration for the Martin Scorcese-directed film is Herbert Ashbury's 1928 short but comprehensive selection of urban myths, the Gangs of New York, the narrative center of which the Five Points neighborhood -- the junction of three streets that was the representational spirit of one of the most poverty-stricken city neighborhoods in 19th-century America. In 1842, Dickens wrote about New York City's Five Points neighborhood in American Notes:

This is the place: these narrow ways, diverging to the right and left, and reeking everywhere with dirt and filth. Such lives as are led here, bear the same fruits here as elsewhere. The coarse and bloated faces at the doors have counterparts at home, and all the wide world over. Debauchery has made the very houses prematurely old. See how the rotten beams are tumbling down, and how the patched and broken windows seem to scowl dimly, like eyes that have been hurt in drunken frays. Many of those pigs live here. Do they ever wonder why their masters walk upright in lieu of going on all-fours? And why they talk instead of grunting? (Dickens 2007).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on New York City as a Character Assignment

Scorcese's film uses the city of New York and the violence that takes place within it as a sort of birth scenario of modern American society. From the very beginning of the film, Scorcese shows us a world that is barbarically full of chaos and foul occurrences everywhere. While the actual characters themselves are either completely fiction or a mish-mash of other… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"New York City as a Character."  Essaytown.com.  May 23, 2010.  Accessed July 31, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/new-york-city-character/5065467.