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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...

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