Your Final Paper, worth 20% of your course grade (155 points,) is due by the end of Week 6 (02-05-18).
As described in the Syllabus, a course paper (2200-3000-word expectation) will make up the Final Paper for the course and is intended to give you the opportunity to explore some aspect of our subject in greater detail. A working thesis for this thesis-driven essay will need to be submitted to your instructor by email no later than Week 4(01-24-18). See the Doc Sharing document “Final Paper Assignment” for details.
In this paper, you will assert your opinion (thesis) on the depiction of ‘The American Dream’ from the perspective of gender, ethnicity, or class. You may discuss this assertion with regards to a specific film or play (other than one we have explored in this course), or regarding a more general depiction, such as ‘contemporary films or plays’, or ‘films that explore women in the workforce’ for example.
You may reference one or more of the plays/films from this course, but the focus of the paper must be on something other than what we have looked at in the course. You will need to include in your paper your own personal definition of ‘The American Dream.’
Details are provided in the document “Final Paper Assignment” found in Doc Sharing. Please begin working on this project early in the course.
I urge you to begin work on this project right away.
I have included a list of the material we will be going over in class because the paper must focus on something other than what we look at in the course.
There will be a question or two over the text readings on.
The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation. Jim Cullen. Oxford University Press (2003). ISBN: 978-0-19-517325-3
George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart. You Cant Take It With You.
A classic American comedy extolling the virtue of American individualism and the ability to find happiness in the absence of material possession or governmental oversight.
Joan Holden. Nickel and Dimed.
Based on the extraordinary book by Barbara Ehrenreich, the play looks at the life of working women struggling to get by on Wal-Mart wages.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun.
This is an compelling drama that examines the meaning and the challenge of The American Dream for an African-American family struggling for their piece of the pie in the 1950s.
Frank Capra. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
(We will view this film by streaming it online – a link will be provided Week 2)
Classic American tale of innocence, corruption, and Jimmy Stewart.
Martin Ritt. Norma Rae
Inspirational film about a blue collar worker standing up for workplace rights.
Gary Ross. Pleasantville
A film exploring the social and inherent desires for freedom and expression; significant components of the idea of ‘The American Dream.’
Gabriele Muccino. The Pursuit of Happyness
A modern day American Dream based on a true story.
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