Essay on Gangs of New York

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Picture Manhattan in 1860, a time before the city had been dolled up and gotten ready for the silver screen, before the glamour and allure took over. Amsterdam Vallan (DiCaprio) is a young Irish man that migrates to the USA at a young age. Amsterdam’s story takes place in Five Points District of New York, a filthy and dangerous part of the city before it was deleted form history. As a young boy Vallan witnessed his father’s murder at the hand of William Cutting or Bill the Butcher (Day-Lewis) during one of their many gang wars. As Amsterdam’s story progresses along side The Butcher they become inseparable, but Amsterdam had ulterior motive. Ultimately, Amsterdam attempts to betray his new found ally in order to avenge his father’s death.…show more content…
Trouble begun to stir when the new comers needed jobs, and the taxes along with the amount of space changed drastically. The amount of disgrace bestowed upon the points came across clearly from Amsterdam’s perspective. He saw the filth and hatred, yet he stayed and battles because it was his land and he had the right. Similarly, “Mag’s trademark was her ability to bite of rowdy customers, and she displayed these anatomical trophies in a pickle jar up on the back bar.”(Slayton 19), the influent loons who had lived in the era and were historical characters were present through Amsterdam’s life as well. Though after ruckus upturned by the gangs, street names were changed and Little Water Street was deleted, in order to clear the slum and undergo the demolition of a “shameful” part of history. "That the place known as "Five points" has long been notorious... as being the nursery where every species of vice is conceived and matured; that it is infested by a class of the most abandoned and desperate character.... In conclusion your Committee remark, that this hot–bed of infamy, this modern Sodom, is situated in the very heart of your City, and near the centre of business and of respectable population.... Remove this nucleus—scatter its present population over a larger surface—throw open this part of your city to the enterprise of active and respectable men, and you will have effected much for which good men will be grateful." (Board of Assistant Aldermen

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