The Gangs of New York
The Gangs of New York
1. The five points was characterized by filth, congestion and slum-like living conditions. The housing was dilapidated because it had many inhabitants who were extremely poor. The five points was in this condition because it housed criminals who used it as a hideout. Upper Manhattan on the other hand, consisted of beautiful buildings with spacious playgrounds.
2. The five points gangs view power as something that is derived from numbers and the control of territories. In the local context, gangs with larger numbers and greater control of a certain territory were considered stronger. In the course of the film, the gangs’ view of power evolves. The gang’s view of power changes from that of territories to conquest. There is a need to dispossess others of what they own and to conquer other territories.
3. The dead Rabbits want to fight with the natives because the natives consider them immigrants and do not want them in their territory. They natives refuse to live with them because they are outsiders.
4. Bill the butcher makes the priest Vallon a saint-like figure after his death because Vallon had previously defeated him in a duel and spared his life. Bill orders Priest Vallon to be buried with honor.
5. Boss Tweed and Tammany hall conceive power as getting the support of everyone, native and immigrant. Bill on the other hand despises the immigrants and wants to wipe them out. Tweed seeks an alliance with Tweed in order to use him to scare or eliminate his opponents. Tweed’s understanding of power is different from Bill’s since Tweed thinks power comes from people’s support, while Bill delights in scaring people through his crimes.
6. In this statement, Boss Tweed means that the law (police) should be respected, and it should not be used to break the rules.
7. Bill hates the arriving immigrants and only thinks of killing them. Tweed on the other hand supports them for his political gains. Amsterdam also supports the immigrants and sees no need for discrimination.
8. The Fire brigades fought each other for the right to put out fires because they were led by politicians who wanted to gain political mileage. The federal army ended the New York riots. The Federal government wields enough power to control the states.
9. The people of the Points are against the drafting into the civil war. The people pay Tammany hall because the politicians there are corrupt and need the money to carry out their business.
10. Amsterdam hangs happy jack to show Bill that he was now more powerful. The hanging of Jack shows that being able to destroy or kill your opponents is a symbol of power. When Bill finally comes to fight, Amsterdam cuts a line across his cheek as his father used to do. Amsterdam wants to identify with his dead father. Amsterdam’s actions reflect the conception that power can be derived from other people by imitation.