Symbolism In Broszek

855 Words4 Pages
Herzog’s film Stroszek follows a German man, Bruno, accompanied by his friends Eva and Scheitz, as they leave Germany in hopes of establishing a better life in Wisconsin. The ideal of an American dream—the belief that countless opportunities for wealth and prosperity lie awaiting in the land of the free—guides them towards their goal. However, their arrival shatters the misinformed perspective they hold. Instead of immigrating to a country full of opportunities, the Germans arrive in an opportunistic realm that not only fails to grant them prosperity, but actively strips them of their wellbeing. Herzog, through his depictions of the immensity of American industry, confining framing, and use of poignant costuming to criticize American culture, effectively portrays how the broken expectations alienates Bruno; the failure of America to live up to its heightened reputation makes the disappointment drastically more…show more content…
Bruno dons the classic cowboy hat, a symbol of American culture and rugged pioneering. The cowboy hat seeks to empower Bruno, to urge him to press forward with undying perseverance, to pursue his manifest destiny. However, despite the cowboy hat holding status as an iconic symbol of America, Bruno remains one of the few characters in the film that ever wears the hat. Only the sleazy trucker who picks up Eva and the colonel who auctions Bruno’s house join in wearing the cowboy hat, and both these characters personify the most brutal aspects of America. The trucker embodies obesity and overzealous sexuality while the colonel represents the unrelenting capitalist economy, both negative characteristics of America. The cowboy hat manifests itself as the expectations of America versus the actuality. Bruno expects the hat to empower him with traditional ideals of American perseverance, but instead the hat aligns itself with the nasty, brutish side of America: that of sex and
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