In Lary May's "Screening out the Past", the article mentioned about the emphasis of "Victorianism" that Griffith placed in his film works, particularly "The Birth of a Nation".
During that Progressive Era (late 1890 to 1920), sexual revolution were happening rapidly in big cities. Prostitution, pre-marital and extramarital sexual behavior were everywhere. From the passage, "In river boats or shanty towns, men could find prostitutes, and thereby unleash their lusts far from Victorian homes." (pp 69). As Griffith worked his way in becoming a film director, he went to New York searching for a better future, which backfired until he "decided to reform the motion picture industry." Through his strong Methodist family tradition upbringing, he used film to bring out the Victorianism and Christian spirit that were disappearing amongst people during that time. His main intention was to bring back and convey to the audiences the essence of "American Victorianism".
He wanted everything that's in relation with himself to have a connection with his ideal Victorianism and his film works and actions really live up to his word. In May's article, she mentioned about Griffith's secret marriage to a motion picture actress as well as the pending divorce (pp 70). Griffith did this because he lived strictly by the Victorianism rule where the man is supposed to be the only breadwinner and the woman should not be working at all but taking care of the households matter. Furthermore, divorce was a social taboo as according to Methodist tradition. In Griffith's professional life, he even dismissed an actor portraying Christ because the actor was related to immoral sexual behavior. This showed how serious Griffith is in following the Victorianism tradition.
Over the course of his career, he had successfully use films to show to the audiences about the "correct" way of life (Victorianism, healthy sexual behavior) as well as providing educated entertainment to people, and it was very well received by the people of that era. But, when we look at our current film works, why do we see the exact opposite? Majority of the contemporary movies that we have now depict sexual immorality (pre- or extra-marital behavior), and yet audiences enjoy it very much. My question is, what triggers this change? And how does capitalism play a role here?