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The Thematic Paradigm

The Thematic Paradigm - individual portrayed as a teacher...

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Barbara Greco Dr. Mannino The Thematic Paradigm In this essay Ray argues that American films have “long reflected fundamental patterns and contradictions in our society’s myths and values” (308). He argues that having two-sided characters connected with what Erik Erikson described as the fundamental American psychological pattern. Ray compares and contrasts American cultures two characters: the outlaw hero and the official hero. Ray claims that “the outlaw hero stood for that part of the American imagination valuing self-determination and freedom from entanglements” (309). The outlaw hero represents a flight from maturity. Contrary to the outlaw hero, the official hero is seen as being American culture’s
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Unformatted text preview: individual portrayed as a teacher, lawyer, or a family man. The official hero is characterized by adulthood. Concluding his essay, Ray states American resolved it either simplistically (by refusing to acknowledge that a choice is necessary), sentimentally (by blurring the differences between the two sides), or by laughing the whole thing off (315). Ray proves his point by using outside examples to provide evidence. In discussing the roles the two characters have in politics and law, Ray uses Tocqueville to prove his point that results of this mythology actually do occur. In discussing aging, Ray turns to Fiedler to help explain his evidence....
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