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Chasing the American Dream in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Revolutionary Road

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Though many try to chase after their American Dream, many people long for more and come up short. The American Dream can be defined as “The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance”. Basically this means that if you work towards your goals and put in the effort, then success can be achieved. The American dream can be sought after for better life opportunities, as seen in the movie Revolutionary Road, or to just get a better understanding of life itself, as seen in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
In both films, Revolutionary Road, written by Richard Yate’s and directed by Sam Mendes, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam and based upon the novel written by Hunter S. Thompson; The American Dream is being chased after, but the characters end up in disappointment. Although both films end in an American Nightmare, the ways in which they attempt to achieve success vary greatly. Using the assigned reading, “The Anxious Society”, by Lawrence R. Samuel as an incite for The American Dream; this essay explores the differences and similarities of the American Dream in the films, Revolutionary Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
In the film, Revolutionary Road, the American Dream is about the struggle to find happiness in a time period that doesn’t agree with the main characters wanted lifestyle. The film takes place in 1955, a time when women were meant to stay at home to clean and cook while the men worked all day to bring home money to support their family. S...


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...mplary in terms of demonstrating the flaws of the American Dream and the failures of trying to accomplish it. There are different motivators in achieving the American Dream. The Wheelers wanted a change in their life and to become the happy family that their neighbors thought that they were. Revolutionary road is an example of trying to achieve the American Dream for the wrong reasons; the Wheelers wanted to fix their relationship, when their relationship couldn’t be fixed. Duke wanted to continue in his journalism career and have a good time in Las Vegas. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an example of solace in excess causing self-destruction and failure to achieve the American Dream. The path to the American Dream was seen both films, but both the movies as well as the assigned reading proved that the American Dream is just a dream and is ultimately unreachable.



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