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ENGL 4423 20th C American Fiction: American Dreams (Spring: 3 )

Course Description

This course will explore the notion of “the American Dream” as it is defined, tested and frequently undercut in twentieth-century American fiction. Our discussion of the works will focus on their exposure of the ideological and economic bases of the American dream. How, we will ask, does our understanding of the “All American” family reflect assumptions about race, class, gender and personal autonomy? How do literal and metaphorical notions of buying and selling relate to the construction of individual and collective American identities? What sacrifice is required of immigrants who wish to "buy into" America’s cultural mythology? Texts may include The Great Gatsby, The Day of the Locust, Bread Givers, The Bluest Eye, Independence Day and short stories by Diaz, Alexie, Banks and Lahiri.

Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Laura Tanner

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 24-Jun-17