What’s the Quote at the End of American History X?

American History X is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that explores the themes of racism, hate, and redemption. The film revolves around Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi who tries to prevent his younger brother from following in his footsteps.

The movie ends with a quote that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer. In this article, we will take a closer look at the quote at the end of American History X.

The quote is as follows:

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.

Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. “

These words are spoken by Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address in 1861. The speech was delivered at a time when America was on the brink of civil war over the issue of slavery. Lincoln’s message was one of unity and reconciliation.

Director Tony Kaye chose this quote to end American History X for several reasons. Firstly, it reinforces the theme of redemption that runs throughout the movie.

Derek Vinyard’s character arc is all about rejecting hate and finding compassion for others. The quote serves as a reminder that even when we disagree with others, we should strive to see them as friends rather than enemies.

Secondly, the quote highlights the power of memory and history. Throughout American History X, we see how racism and hate are perpetuated through generations via family and cultural traditions. By quoting Lincoln’s speech, Kaye suggests that we can break this cycle by remembering our shared history and working towards a better future.

Finally, the quote is a call to action for viewers to embrace their better angels – their capacity for empathy and compassion towards others. It’s easy to fall into anger or hatred when faced with difficult situations or people who are different from us. But as Lincoln reminds us, we must rise above these passions and strive to see the good in others.

In conclusion, the quote at the end of American History X is a powerful reminder of the importance of unity, reconciliation, and empathy. By quoting Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, director Tony Kaye suggests that we can learn from our shared history and work towards a better future where hate and division have no place. So let us embrace our better angels and strive towards a world where we see each other not as enemies but as friends.