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Popular Culture (Paraphrase) - Essay Example

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Analysis of a Modern Myth Myths came from the earliest recordings of sophisticated culture, and have developed alongside human civilization since. Myths from the ancient times, stories of fickle-minded gods and humans of supernatural ability, have spawned modern myths, which discuss everything from horror (‘urban myths’) to ambition (the ‘American dream’)…
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Popular Culture (Paraphrase)
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Popular Culture (Paraphrase)

Myths can be generally categorized dualistically: myths of history, which represent the accumulated knowledge and superstition of generations and tend to be from more ancient cultures, and myths of example, which speculate about the future and are usually more recent. The first of these is intended to teach certain behaviors, the second to encourage, reassure, or warn. This essay will analyze the modern oral tradition of the American dream, expressed through drama and pop culture, to discern its status as 'myth' and show some responses to it. The ‘American dream’ is the somewhat fanciful idea that in the US (and only in the US) a person can achieve wealth and success through hard work, regardless of their other qualities. It suggests that the US socio-economic system is scrupulously fair and completely devoid of corruption or favoritism, and (more disturbingly) that those who do not succeed are personally to blame for their failures. It comes across as a little dated to the cynics of the twenty-first century, and it is true that the dream was not as solid as it may have seemed to its contemporaries. The playwright Arthur Miller recognized this, and made it the topic of his 1949 play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, is one of the victims of the American dream. ... Read More
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