The American Dream According To The 1970s And Norman Mac Lean's "A River Runs Through It"

1415 words - 6 pages

Again and again, the American Dream changes more rapidly than most decades have a chance to change. The novel, A River Runs Through It, written by Norman MacLean, suggests a cold feeling growing in the 1970s, one that took away from everyone's time to relax in nature, although there are bleak times of pride and joy that almost suggest that times are changing in their entirety (MacLean). Even such rock n' roll bands such as the great Led Zeppelin wrote songs that suggest these same themes in many of their songs. In "Good Times Bad Times", the band writes, "In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man, Now I've reached that age, I've tried to do all those things the best I can. No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam;Good Times, Bad Times, you know I had my share". (Led Zeppelin). The children of the 1960s were growing up, and many of them were finding it difficult to live in the time of this new technological age, along with many more political changes to come.At the beginning part of the 1970s, the unbelievably costly Vietnam War was just ending. Many citizens of the United States were still extremely angry with the government for entering the war in the first place. The president who refused to pull the Americans out of Vietnam, Richard Nixon, was not particularly popular in the public's eyes. They had thought of him as a good president, but Vietnam took all of that trust away. They were happy partly because Nixon had visited China and had opened relations between bitter opponents. His downfall was the Watergate scandal and he resigned due to that. He had made promises that he could not keep (Nixon). Gerald Ford became the next President and promised more ideals that were tough to keep (Ford). In A River Runs Through It, there are many instances in which Norman MacLean talks about the government and how it has let down the people of America (MacLean).In the 1970s, the cultural aspects were booming with success. Some of the greatest rock n'roll bands of all time started in the 70s. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, and The Who all made their marks in that decade. At the same time, a new musical craze began. Disco became the music that parties fed upon. Some of the most remembered movies also were created during the 70s. One of the most widely quoted movies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, was made then (Gilliam). Sometimes considered one of the greatest movies of all time, The Godfather left audiences in a state of excitement as they left the theater (Coppola). Finally, Jaws, the shark thriller, was also made in the same time period (Spielberg). The 70s were a time of inspiration, as shown by the culture, but also it shows some of the declination of the decade as well. A River Runs Through It includes another important aspect of the cultural significance of the 70s. Gambling was becoming large and more common during that time (MacLean).War was still lingering in Americans' minds all throughout the 70s. Many even...

Find Another Essay On The American Dream according to the 1970s and Norman MacLean's "A River Runs Through It"

Religion in Chatharine Sedwick's Hope Leslie, Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack and Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It

913 words - 4 pages Religion in Chatharine Sedwick's Hope Leslie, Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack and Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It In Hope Leslie, by Catharine Sedwick; Dinosaur in a Haystack, by Stephen Jay Gould, and A River Runs Through it, by Norman Maclean; the authors use religion in order to give the reader an insight on the stories and ideas they present, as well as gaining respect in the reader’s minds. All people can relate to

Eridanos or Styx? An Exegesis of "A River Runs Through It"

1024 words - 4 pages . This is a classic theme of Christianity. Another theme that is prevalent in Christianity that Maclean uses as a thread throughout his novella is the doctrine of election. An oft debated and scrutinized teaching it turns out to be the truest for Maclean and the characters of "A River Runs Through It". Like Isaac, Jacob and Abel, Norman seems peculiarly chosen, and like his biblical counterparts Ishmael, Esau and Cain, Paul seems destined for infernal

The American Dream According to John Steinbeck

937 words - 4 pages a lifetime of laboring. He, just like George and Lennie, had hoped and dreamed for many years to own a piece of land to call his own. He has to live with the realization that he will probably die laboring just as he has done for so many years before. Crooks, on the other hand, has more of a sociological issue to deal with. He dealt with constant racial issues preventing him from accomplishing the American Dream. He has struggled to be treated as

The American Dream...It is a "dream"

998 words - 4 pages happiness that is unique to them self. Americans have forced pleasure and in turn brought pain and discontentment.Overall, the status of the American Dream has declined in recent generations due to modern day pressures on society. As one can see, happiness is individualistic and differs according to a person's ethnicity, childhood, environment, age, gender, etc. The American Dream is not something that can be decided based on one experience. It is the work of a lifetime of finding one's interests, goals, and pleasures. As Art Linkletter once said, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

American dream according to Columbus and John Smith

683 words - 3 pages mountains. Columbus saw the opportunity for himself and his country to profit economically through spices, gold and trade. This land gave a promise of a better, easier, and more prosperous life, which in a way is an American dream. When people heard about this new land they wanted to be a part of it. Since this new land was almost uninhabited, it was open for the European people. "And from that point I sent two men inland to learn if there was a king

Over The River And Through The Wood

800 words - 3 pages In "Over the River and through the Wood" by John O'Hara, a widowed man's family is unhappy with him because of his unchaste past. Mr. Winfield is taking the first step to better his relationship with his family by making a trip to his daughter's house for the first time in 15 years. His youthful and immoral past makes it difficult for him to earn respect from his family.When Mr. Winfield is in the car with Sheila and her two friends, he is on

The American Dream as it used to be and what it as evovled into: How has the American Dream effected the way hurricane Katrina was handled?

2502 words - 10 pages other continents. Deserting the poor chances they were given of creating a worthy living in their own countries.The American Dream todayThrough generations the American dream has changed from its original form, to fit the given tendency of a given generation. But one basic concept of the original idea seems to stick with , the dream of becoming wealthy. The settlers of the New World believed that prosperity could be achieved through hard work and

Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Analysis of how it relates to the American Dream.

1461 words - 6 pages Death of a Salesmen by Arthur Miller, one of America's leading playwrights of the twentieth century was written in 1949. This play describes the conflicts within the Loham family to succeed in Willy Lohman' idea of the "American Dream". Willy Lohman's distorted mind believes that success is measured by your wealth and by the number of people that like you. In fact, Willy indicates that the number of people that like you is demonstrated by the

What is The American Dream? and is it Attainable?

1057 words - 4 pages hunger in their stomachs. Also people view it as the faith held by any person that through constant work, courage and simple willpower one can achieve a life which they never thought possible. Many of these values were held by European immigrants and passed on to following generations. What this dream has turned into is a topic of constant debate, leading many people to use the possession of material goods or wealth as a measure or pleasure or

"Society as it should have been" A description of the ideal society according to simplistic ideals and ethics.

1979 words - 8 pages created could have a positive impact on society in every aspect, but the commitment, and dedication it would demand from its inhabitants (us), I'm afraid would be just too much. We are a society that has been spoiled rotten with mushy la-la promises of a big fat American dollar. To give up a dream based on a "head of the corporation want to be", where CEO really stands for Corporate Ego Occupation, it would be outrageous to ask even one person, much less try to make a society see the potential it has to save itself and its future generations. If a "rise of the educated class" is all it's going to take, then count me in.

The American Dream Is Just a Dream

1071 words - 5 pages relationship with Daisy again. This was not enough, Gatsby was living most of the American dream, but he did not have a love yet and that is what he most wanted. So when Gatsby is reaching for that green light – Daisy’s green light – he is reaching for a new beginning, for Daisy’s love again, for the American dream. Gatsby, “must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it... [he] believed in the green light" (Fitzgerald 189). He believed

Similar Essays

Relationships In Norman Mac Lean's A River Runs Through It

820 words - 3 pages Relationships in Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It "Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river." The river that Norman Maclean speaks of in A River Runs Through It works as a connection, a tie, holding together the relationships between Norman and his acquaintances in this remote society. Though "It" is never outwardly defined in the novella there is definite evidence "It" is

Comparing Metaphors In Norman Maclean's, A River Runs Through It And Henry David Thoreau's, Walden

1477 words - 6 pages Comparing Metaphors in Norman Maclean's, A River Runs Through It and Henry David Thoreau's, Walden In Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, the author recounts the story of his early life growing up in Montana. The narrative revolves around his family and the art of fly fishing. Through the novel, Maclean begins to understand the wisdom of his father, the fierce independence and downfall of his brother, and the divinity and beauty of

A River Runs Through It Essay

1452 words - 6 pages All lives revolve around decisions and instances from ones past. In A River Runs Through It (1992), director Robert Redford uses this idea and applies it to a true story of two brothers from Montana, Norman and Paul Maclean (Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt, respectively). Based on the autobiographical novel by Norman Maclean himself, River uses Maclean’s metaphysical beliefs about life and nature to present its many themes. Using a longing score

Comparing Authority In Hope Leslie, Dinosaur In The Haystack, And A River Runs Through It

620 words - 2 pages Authority in Hope Leslie, Dinosaur in the Haystack, and A River Runs Through It Authority is portrayed differently by each individual in life. Authority is portrayed by knowledge, wisdom, tone, and wording. The languages of authority are too numerable to count. In the novels Hope Leslie, Dinosaur in the Haystack, and A River Runs Through It the authors use three different techniques to portray authority while using religion and scripture to