The American Dream: The Philosophy Of The American Dream

1227 Words5 Pages
Academic Introduction The philosophy of the American dream is deeply rooted in the soul of the American nation. It portrays the idea of America as a land where all dreams can come true and where those individuals who work hard can live a fuller, happier life. Since the very beginning of the establishment of this ideology, it was already repleted with stereotypes which are still present these days. Taking this into account, to what extent is the American dream really achievable? The aim of this paper is to show how the hegemonic discourse of the American dream is based on stereotypes and consequently fails at accomplishing the expectatives of those who believe in it. Therefore, it will discuss the discourse’s inability to provide financial…show more content…
Accordingly, the frame of this study is mainly Cultural Studies but also Feminism. There are a few scholars and cinephiles who have analysed Little Miss Sunshine from different perspectives, however very few of them have stressed the movie’s connection with the ideology of the American dream. Nevertheless, many historians and scholars have studied this philosophy. For instance Jennifer Hochschild in his book Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation (1995) examines how millions of immigrants have moved to America to fulfill their American dream and how “many have achieved success [and] probably as just as many have been defeated and disillusioned” (1995, 16). Professor Jim Cullen explores in many of his books the several meanings of the American Dream that have both illustrated and shaped American identity from the Pilgrims up to present day. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation describes “a series of specific American dreams in a loosely chronological overlapping order” from the Pilgrims to the Declaration of Independance and “one of the most familiar American dreams: that of upward mobility, a dream typically understood in terms of economic and/or social…show more content…
Olive, who is a healthy and normal little girl, becomes self-conscious when she learns that her body doesn’t fit into the category of the “beautiful ideal woman” type which beauty pageants (and therefore American culture) propagandize. Child beauty pageants, which have turned to be an acceptable part of American culture, are criticised in the movie, showing their artificial nature and how they exclude those individuals who do not perform hegemonic femininity. Therefore, Olive, who does not meet beauty standards, gets excluded and is not able to fulfill her dream. Thus, the question stated at the beginning of this paper is answered through the analysis. Little Miss Sunshine presents different views of the American dream, which many people today find themselves trying to achieve, and how difficult (and mostly impossible) it is to fulfill
Open Document