By J. Levinson
In interpreting the long-lasting charm that rags-to-riches tales exert on our collective mind's eye, this e-book highlights the vital position that motion pictures have performed within the ongoing cultural discourse approximately good fortune and paintings in the United States.
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Extra resources for The American Success Myth on Film
And unlike more devout versions of the success myth, which downplay or synthesize its competing ideologies, movies such as these expose rather than suppress the undeniable incongruities of success myth ideology. The lingering appeal of the rise-and-fall pattern, in which the drive for success eventually overtakes reason and morality, speaks to our ongoing need to negotiate the myth’s conﬂicting desires and fears. These rise-and-fall character studies that underscore the paradoxical values espoused by the success myth come in a variety of forms.
This moment is genuinely touching, although it is difﬁcult to forget that George’s bighearted community spirit is what precluded his mobility and the realization of his dreams: the collision of individualist striving and communal wellbeing is among the clashing values that torment George. After the procession of well-wishers have said their piece, someone reads a cable from Sam Wainwright, George’s old friend and former romantic rival, who has made it big by proﬁting handsomely from the post-war boom.
Since Hollywood movies are considerably more enamored of swashbuckling entrepreneurs than of corporate drudges, The Pursuit of Happyness strategically vaults over Chris’ life as an organization man by cutting directly from the day when he lands the job to the end titles. The on-screen text at the end of the ﬁlm informs us that the real Chris Gardner eventually set off on his own business venture and went on to become a multi-millionaire. Like other straightforward success myth tales that celebrate social and occupational mobility, The Pursuit of Happyness insists that success is within reach for anyone with the gumption to grab for it.
The American Success Myth on Film by J. Levinson