National Repository of Grey Literature 1 records found  Search took 0.01 seconds. 
Surviving the Good Life: Cruel Optimism of the American Dream in Modern American Drama
Shakurova, Daria ; Wallace, Clare (advisor) ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee)
1 Summary Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has witnessed attrition of the American Dream. However, despite a significant decrease in available opportunities, fantasies of the good life, traditionally associated with the Dream, continue to dominate the public imagination even now. The thesis explores this paradox through the conceptual framework introduced by Lauren Berlant in her 2011 cultural study Cruel Optimism. Like fellow affect theorists, Berlant holds the belief that collectively shared affective responses organize historical periods. "Cruel optimism", according to her, is one of those responses that shape the present in post-war neoliberal societies: when a crisis becomes a part of everyday reality, people tend to maintain an attachment to dysfunctional, or even threatening, conventions in order to preserve at least some possibility of "normal" existence. While Berlant looks for exemplary cases of that mostly in fiction and film, the thesis proposes modern American drama as another prolific source. After the war, playwrights turned to the individual as a "citizen", dedicating more attention to the way psychology and personal choices play the role in larger social and political issues. This general tendency makes it appropriate to look for a recurrent scenario, featuring...

Interested in being notified about new results for this query?
Subscribe to the RSS feed.