Facets of the American Dream and American Nightmare in Film

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GRIN Verlag, 2008 - 104 pages
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Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Other, grade: 1,7, University of Duisburg-Essen, 60 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: "Predictively, any attempt at abstracting from the plethora of relevant publications something even faintly resembling a definition of the 'Dream' is doomed to failure." Peter Freese As Peter Freese precisely points out, defining the American Dream is a difficult if not irresolvable task. The reason for this is that "beyond an abstract belief in possibility, there is no one American Dream." Nevertheless, it is easy to find short definitions in various encyclopedias. In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language it is defined as " a]n American ideal of a happy and successful life to which all may aspire: "In the deepening gloom of the Depression, the American Dream represented a reaffirmation of traditional American hopes."' The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy offers a different definition: " a] phrase connoting hope for prosperity and happiness, symbolized particularly by having a house of one's own. Possibly applied at first to the hopes of immigrants, the phrase now applies to all except the very rich and suggests a confident hope that one's children's economic and social condition will be better than one's own." A rather short and simple explanation of the term American Dream can be found in the dictionary WordNet by the Princeton University which says that it is "the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did." All of these definitions describe various facets of the dream, but none of them gets to the point. In order to get an idea of what the dream really is or what it is assumed to be and how the idea of it came up, it is necessary to have a look at American history. The recapitulation in this work will make an attempt to reveal why it is the American dream and how it is related to American national id
 

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Contents

Introduction 3 2 The American Dream Historical Background
6
The American Dream today 12 4 Gabriele Muccinos The Pursuit of Happyness 2006 The American Dream14 4 1 Story 14 4 2 Chris Gardner and S...
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6 1 Story
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Conclusion 84 11 Bibliography 88 12 Appendix
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