SAT Subject US History Practice Question 964: Answer and Explanation
45. The films Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, and Gone with the Wind, based on a novel by Margaret Mitchell, are similar in that they both
A. revolutionized the way silent films were made.
B. presented the Old South in ways sympathetic to the former slaveholding class.
C. were rejected by the public but were appreciated by critics for their artistry.
D. dealt with the tensions and conflicts of the Revolutionary War era.
E. offered escapism to the poor during the Great Depression.
Correct Answer: B
Birth of a Nation (1915) presented the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction from the point of view of the Confederacy and was criticized by the NAACP for its racist depiction of African Americans and its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan. Gone With the Wind (1939) looked back fondly on plantation life. Although Birth of a Nation was a silent movie, Gone With the Wind was not (A). Both movies were popular with the public (C). Gone With the Wind is one of the most watched movies ever. Although both movies are historical, neither deals with the Revolutionary War (D). Birth of a Nation was produced 15 years before the Great Depression.