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ENG 112: College Composition II (Russo-LO)

This guide has been created by librarians at Northern Virginia Community College to help you find books, articles, videos, and other types of resources related to this program of study. Direct comments to jcombs@nvcc.edu

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Final Essay: Representations of the American Dream in Films

Using your research and notes, develop a 1000-1100 word essay (about 4-5 pages) essay on the portrayal of the American Dream in the film your group has selected:

  • Wolf of Wall Street
  • Pursuit of Happyness
  • Spare Parts
  • Straight Outta Compton

Keep in mind the key questions for this essay (discussed in class):

  • What American Dream is the character in the film pursuing?

  • How is he/she is pursuing the Dream? (Through, good and rightful means, such as hard work, diligence, etc or through subversive means, such as treachery, theft, etc.  NOTE: these will also be your key words for the final film essay)?

  • Does the character achieve the American Dream? Why or why not?

Your essay must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong connection between the film and the American Dream theme.  

  • A thesis statement with the key argument and main ideas

  • Your essay must be about ONE (or at the most two) character that portrays the American Dream in the film.

  • You MUST include at least FOUR sources to support your argument.  You may use the sources from the annotated bibliographies posted in your group or you may choose to include other sources. However, remember your sources must be credible and authoritative. You must have at least TWO sources related to the idea of the American dream, no more than ONE film review, and ONE is your choice.

For more information, please contact Professor Russo.