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Literature & Language
Annotated Bibliography
English (U.S.)
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Representations And Discourses Of The American Dream In Film (Annotated Bibliography Sample)


Research Topic: Representations and discourses of the American Dream in film
The "American Dream" means that as long as the person starts working hard and follow their dream, thus it can lead to a better life. People must move toward prosperity through their own diligence, courage, creativity, and determination rather than relying on specific social classes and assistance from others. They emphasize personal struggle and respect for self-made people. Equal opportunity is the soul of the "American Dream." Cleverness, diligence and perseverance are the necessary conditions for the “American Dream,” and especially the transition from the lower class to the upper class, which is the most prominent feature of the “American Dream”.
Among the previous best Oscar films, there are many films that show the "American Dream" and reflect the mainstream values of the United States. They are also examples of inspirational films and have inspired many people to bravely advance in the hardships of life. The movies such as “The Great Gatsby”.






Representations and Discourses of the American Dream in Film

Annotated Bibliography

Hochschild, Jennifer L. Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class and the Soul of the Nation. Princeton UP, 2006.

The book by Hochschild explains how racial differences and social classes have affected the way in which individuals gauge their opportunities for success. Through the combination of vivid anecdote and data from surveys, Hochschild describes how white Americans view black Americans as having a much more conducive environment to prosper as compared to whites. The book’s relevance to the topic is on the notion of comparison, which limits white people from achieving their own success since instead of working hard, such people tend to compare themselves with others and often fail to utilize their capabilities to achieve success.

Davis, William E. Peace and Prosperity in an Age of Incivility. UP of America, 2006.

In this book, Davis explains that balance in the society is essential for achieving prosperity. The book explains that equality, order and liberty are the three significant political values that society should uphold in order to maintain such a balance. Nations that assign equal opportunities have a higher chance of working towards prosperity as compared to nations without equal opportunities. Similarly, for individuals to achieve their dreams, they should have equal opportunities offered to them by the society.

Fitzgerald, Francis S. The Great Gatsby. Aegitas, 2016.

The Great Gatsby circles around a character by the name Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan, a former debutante. Aside from the love story in the novel, Fitzgerald clearly brings out the theme of the American dream as well. The novel explains how Jay Gatsby lived a lavish life, with a mansion in Long Island and fancy parties every weekend. Fitzgerald states that Gatsby held the parties to attract Daisy Buchanan and even though she did not show up to any of them, Gatsby still held the parties with hopes that she might show up one day. Gatsby’s resilience and dedication towards attracting Daisy by continuously hosting the parties is a clear indication of how such attributes are essential in achieving the American dream.

Bush, Melanie E., and Roderick D. Bush. Tensions in the American Dream: Rhetoric, Reverie, or Reality. Temple University Press, 2015.

In this book, Melanie Bush and Roderick Bush talk about how America has marginalized a number of immigrants, yet the country still pledges inclusion. It is well known that America has a large number of immigrants since the 1600s. Many of these immigrants came in search of economic opportunities since America was considered a land of great opportunities. However, as described by the authors, the capitalist system practiced in the country only gives room for private citizens to control the country’s industry and trade sectors. This system has given the immigrants fewer opportunities to achieve their American dream. The book openly supports the point in the discussion on how equal opportunities is important for an individual to achieve

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