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American Dreams, Suburban Nightmares: Suburbia as a Narrative Space between Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary American Cinema

Textbook 2014 69 Pages

American Studies - Literature

Summary

The suburban landscape is inseparable from American culture. Suburbia does not only relate to the geographical concept, but also describes a cultural space incorporating people’s hopes for a safe and prosperous life. Suburbia marks a dynamic ideological space constantly influenced and recreated by both the events of everyday life and artistic discourse. Fictional texts do not merely represent suburbia, but also have a decisive role in the shaping of suburban spaces. <br>The widely held idealized image of suburbia evolved in the 1950s. Today, reality deviates from the concept of suburbs projected back then, due to e.g. high divorce rates and an increase of crime. Nevertheless, the nostalgic view of the suburbs as the “Promised Land" has survived.<br>Postwar critics object to this perception, considering the suburbs rather as depressing landscapes of mass-consumption, conformity and alienation. This book exemplifies the dualistic representation of suburbs in contemporary American cinema by analyzing Pleasantville, The Truman Show and American Beauty. It examines how utopian concepts of suburbia are created culturally and psychologically in the films, and how the underlying anxieties of the suburban experience, visualized by the dystopian narratives, challenge this ideal.

Details

Pages
69
Type of Edition
Erstausgabe
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783954898213
ISBN (Book)
9783954893218
File size
3.2 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v312777
Grade
Tags
american dreams suburban nightmares suburbia narrative space utopia dystopia contemporary cinema

Author

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Title: American Dreams, Suburban Nightmares: Suburbia as a Narrative Space between Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary American Cinema