Category: american dream

Big Walter in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”

Throughout Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, one character hovers over the entire play as a specter of the past. This character is Big Walter, Lena’s husband and Benetha and Walter Lee’s father. Even though he does not appear on stage in the script, he exists as an important part of the narrative. His death, which we do not see, causes the action … Read More Big Walter in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”

+

African American Literature and the American Dream Syllabus

Whenever I teach an American literature survey course, the topic of the American Dream inevitably comes up. Typically, I ask students to define this mythological term and they reply with the standard answer, “The American Dream means happiness and success.” I elaborate upon this response by pointing them back, first to the Declaration of Independence, then to other texts. The Declaration states that “life, … Read More African American Literature and the American Dream Syllabus

A Different View of Jonathan Edwards

Typically, students’ exposure to Jonathan Edwards begins and ends with his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741). By limiting what students read from Edwards, we create an image in our students’ minds, as we do with any author we teach, specifically in a literary surgery course, that portrays the eighteenth century theologian as nothing more that a Calvinist preacher who … Read More A Different View of Jonathan Edwards

The American Dream in Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith’s “The Land Baron’s Sun”

Note: Stay tuned next post for an interview with Genarao Kỳ Lý Smith on The Land Baron’s Sun!   Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith’s The Land Baron’s Sun: The Story of LýLoc and His Seven Wives (2014) tells Lý Loc’s story from childhood through his time in a reeducation camp after the fall of Saigon. Along with Lý Loc’s story, Smith chronicles the stories of Lý Loc’s wives, … Read More The American Dream in Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith’s “The Land Baron’s Sun”

Lecrae’s "Welcome to America" and the American Dream

Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms Posters  Last post, I shared with you a syllabus I constructed entitled “The City in American Literature.” Coinciding with that previous post, I want to take the time to write briefly about David Kamp’s 2009 Vanity Fair article entitled “Rethinking the American Dream” and Lecrae’s “Welcome to America.” Both the article and song deal with our perceptions of the American Dream … Read More Lecrae’s "Welcome to America" and the American Dream