Tag Archives: American Dream

Trump Is Gatsby (But a Lot Meaner)

Donald Trump is Jay Gatsby, albeit a Gatsby with a mean streak. Nevertheless, the rise of the character helps us understand the success of our current president.

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The Wicked Witch, Disillusioned Dreamer

Gregory Maguire’s novel “Wicked,” like versions of the Oz story before it, wrestles with the death of the American Dream.

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Whoever Degrades Another Degrades Me

Whitman’s “Song of Myself” calls us to imagine the experience of the Other, just as Obama asked us to imagine the perspective of young black men.

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To Know Gatsby Is to Know America

“The Great Gatsby” is about fantasizing. Baz Luhrmann’s new film appears to understand this well.

Posted in Fitzgerald (Scott F.) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments

Obama’s Star, Beowulf’s Sword

Obama’s “star that guides us”–the ideals in “The Declaration of Independence”–are, in “Beowulf,” the sword used to kill Grendel’s Mother.

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Destructive Grieving for a Lost America

Grieving for a lost America reaches deep across the political spectrum, “Beowulf” provides a healthy response.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Robinson (Marilynne) | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Burlesque and the American Dream

Film Friday In memory of a friend who died this past March, this past weekend Julia and I went to see Burlesque, the new Christina Aguilera/Cher film. The friend was Maurine Holbert Hogaboom, who in 1934 made her way from a tiny east Texas town to New York by way of burlesque. The Great Depression […]

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You, Sir, Are No Jay Gatsby

  Everyone has something to say about Barack Obama, who has been the subject of non-stop scrutiny since last year’s Democratic primaries.  It therefore is not surprising that some would turn to literature to understand what he means.  Including, in recent weeks,  two New York Times columnists. Stanley Fish, the subject of three posts this […]

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