Representation Of The American Dream Film Studies Essay

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“ Independence Day ” is a movie directed by Roland Emmerich WHAT HAPPENED RELEASED? ? ? in 1996, which shows the planet under an foreign onslaught, where the U.S. is the centre of the job and the state that saves the universe. In relation to this movie several elements can be analyzed belonging to the American civilization. One of the most important is The American Dream. An ideal of American civilization that is based on democracy and equality and aims to keep the public assistance of society, in order to accomplish the fulfilment of the dreams of its members. Based on this, the inquiry that this paper attempts to reply is: To what extent the film “ Independence Day ” directed by Roland Emmerich reflects the American dream?

In this paper is exposed how there is a relationship between The American Dream as a cultural component that represents an American ideal and the book of the movie, where elements, the movie nowadayss such as leading, equality in footings of race, gender and societal context, and the image of a perfect democracy REPRESENT THIS FEATURE.

So we can see IN THIS WAY that the movie represents to a great extent and really clearly the American Dream, because it reaffirms the cardinal function of American civilization on a planetary context by exposing the values aˆ‹aˆ‹of the American Dream as the state defends the planet from the Alien onslaught, it besides brings these values aˆ‹aˆ‹to a planetary context as it takes the independency Day as a jubilation of planetary importance, and demoing America as a state where the dreams of an full state and its members are fulfilled.

Word count: 262


Nowadays The United States is one of the most influential states in the planetary context, taking into history its economic and military power. However its importance worldwide is besides due to their civilization, a civilization that has strongly expanded in the Western Hemisphere by distributing a set of imposts, traditions and ideals. Among the strongest and representative ideals of American civilization is what is known as “ The American Dream ” , a construct that has transcended through history and has strongly consolidated American civilization by demoing that in this state people can accomplish an ideal life style where all of its members fulfill their dreams in a state that enforces their rights and public assistance.

Taking this into history it is of import to analyse how these ideals are represented and displayed as portion of American civilization by concentrating on a specific cultural artefact, in this instance the movie “ Independence Day ” directed by Roland Emmerich released on 1996.

Roland Emmerich is a German movie manager, film writer and manufacturer known by his scientific discipline fiction productions which normally show humanity under ruinous and hazardous state of affairss. That is why on “ Independence Day ” a ruinous context can be seen a context in which Planet Earth is under an Alien onslaught and places The United States in the centre of the calamity and as a state that puts all of its attempts to salvage the planet.

The purpose of this paper is to demo: To what extent the movie “ Independence Day ” directed by Roland Emmerich reflects the American Dream. For this IT IS NECESSARY TO analyse the construct of The American Dream as portion of their civilization in relation to the elements that the movie shows, an analysis of the book by demoing the different state of affairss and characters, and an analysis of the symbols used throughout the movie.


The construct of the American Dream was introduced by James Truslow Adams in his book “ The Epic America ” , where he talks about this construct as a societal ideal representative of American civilization, which seeks equality in footings of chances and a comfy life style for everyone, based on a proper usage of democracy to accomplish it. “ The American dream is the cultural look of North American individuality and, even if it was on occasion transformed into the American incubus, it remains one of the most motivative forces of American civilisation and a still feasible item of American exceptionalism. ” ( Stiuliuc, 2011 ) . Harmonizing to this, Diana Stiuliuc in her text “ The American Dream as the Cultural Expression of North American Identity ” claims that the American Dream despite the different readings that may hold, will ever mention to the American civilization as a alone factor that represents the American national individuality. Taking these definitions into history we can see how this concepts fit the American civilization, because it is based on democracy and equality, constructs that were consolidated as portion of that civilization since they were mentioned in the American fundamental law and the declaration of Independence.

On the other manus, mentioning to Ferdinand Lasalle who said on his book “ On the kernel of fundamental laws ” ( YEAR ) that civilization is related with public consciousness, we can see a relationship between the Constitution and civilization. It means that the fundamental law has to reflect the facets of society that are determined by their imposts, their morality, their thoughts about good and evil and in general all sort of facets that represent the members of a society, in order to do people place with the fundamental law and really obey the Torahs. Harmonizing to this and concentrating in the film, it is important to stand out some constructs that clearly reflect The American Dream because they are based on democracy and equality, the construct of The United States as a state with a perfect democracy, a multicultural state and a planetary leader.


Throughout the movie America is depicted in many ways as a theoretical account of democracy. Several thoughts present in the authoritative paperss mentioned appear as constructs in the movie ‘s secret plan, there are chiefly four thoughts represented in the movie, they are: America depicted as a progressive state, America depicted as a land in which ends can be fulfilled with adequate attempt, America as a state in which peace and the due procedures are a precedence, and America as a state which authorization comes from the consent of the governed.

America is shown as a progressive state in footings of its political construction, as the film shows how the state is worried about societal advancement and public assistance. One of the chief characters in the movie is the President who takes on many functions depending on the state of affairss he faces throughout the movie ; one of these functions is that of a immature yet wise politician. In the movie America is shown as a land in which young person is non a hinderance in footings of wisdom. This is shown at the beginning of the movie when the President ‘s communicating manager Constance Halbrook, another of import character, shows the intelligence to the President reasoning that people are assailing non his policies but his age.

Other types of progressive thought are shown throughout the film such as the presence of argument and protest among the citizens. The President is shown as a human being despite his function as a hero, if he is non defeated at the terminal of the movie, it is due to his art as a politician and soldier alternatively of a set of particular abilities built-in to himself. Protestors are shown when US constabularies and military forces take topographic point near to the Alien ships. And argument is implied in occasional Television broadcasts shown as secondary secret plan devices.

America is depicted as a land in which dreams can be fulfilled throughout the full movie. Almost each character starts his or her journey with a certain defeat, David failed as a scientist, Constance failed in her old relationship with David, Steven could non acquire a occupation in NASA and Jasmine struggles with maintaining her household together. At the terminal of the movie after each character is forced to turn and has to set immense attempts in developing their accomplishments or traveling through great hazard, is able to carry through his or her ends, David and Steve win in their onslaught to the foreigner ship, Constance and Jasmine are able to set their households together.

America is besides shown as a peaceable state that wo n’t assail unless it is attacked foremost. After Alien ships are positioned over each major metropolis in the United States the President gives the order to near them in a peaceable manner by holding a group of choppers get near to one of the infinite ships and air a welcome message. Following an violative by the Aliens the President gives the order of a countermove. Besides it is implied at several minutes that America is a state that respects the domination of others, it is merely after the United States domination is threatened that unfastened war Begins.

This is closely related to the thought mentioned before that America is a state in which authorization comes from the consent of the governed. Most scenes in the film show scenarios of political life, Television arguments, the Oval Office, the White House and so on, democracy is a cardinal subject to the film. A really representative minute of this thought is when the President decides to fix a atomic onslaught merely after having a message from the Aliens that describes their method ; Foreigners are compared to locusts, their kernel is that of the exact antonym to the freedom of a democratic authorities.

Some of the mentioned thoughts have a analogue in authoritative paperss. The 5th amendment of the United States fundamental law references “ due procedure ” as one of the chief constituents of justness in the United States ; this thought is re-enacted several times during the movie. “ Nor shall be compelled in any condemnable instance to be a informant against himself, nor be deprived of life, autonomy, or belongings, without due procedure of jurisprudence ” . ( U.S fundamental law. Amendment. 5 ) . The Declaration Of Independence provinces that the beginning of authorization of each state should be the consent of the governed and non the autocratic regulation of a sovereign, and that thought is reflected in the film as it shows the concerns of the president anytime he is doing a determination that may or may non profit people.

Another ill-famed thought is the representation of America as a multicultural state. Different genders and ethnicities are shown in the film busying different of import functions, as it is an thought of equality that reaffirms The American Dream. Scientists are shown as people from Caucasic, Asiatic and Afro-american descent every bit good as one of the chief characters, David, who is clearly of Judaic descent. Womans have of import functions during the movie excessively, Constance and Margaret, the First Lady, are shown as brave and dedicated adult females among the universe of political relations, and Jasmine is shown as a strong adult female and female parent willing to make what it takes in order to last and protect her household. It is of import to advert about this component of the movie what Hanson said on her work “ American Dream in the twenty-first Century ” an thought that shows a close relationship between the movie and the American Dream.

“ The American Dream represents a province of head that is an digesting optimism given to a people who might be tempted to yield to the parturiencies of hardship, but who, alternatively, repeatedly rise from the ashes to go on to construct a great state. ” ( Hanson, White, 2011 ) .

Soldiers that are one of the chief constituents of the secret plan are besides from different cultural backgrounds. There is representation of Caucasians, African-Americans and Latinos, each individual is compelled to contend for the independency of the United States irrespective of their cultural background or business as is chiefly shown with Russell a husbandman who is considered brainsick and intoxicated during most of the movie but turns into a hero by the terminal.

Both the 15th and 19th amendments to the United States fundamental law support gender and race diverseness by protecting the right to vote of people from all genders and ethnicities. This thought is an indispensable portion of The American Dream and their civilization, and is hence represented in the movie repeatedly.

Aside from that, it is of import to advert how the military forces of the United States of America are shown throughout the movie. Military forces are of import since they are the first establishment of the American authorities to look in the movie after the foreigners have appeared and have been identified, they are the first group to confront the menace and set research and analysis into gesture. They are besides the first 1s to set up a defensive stance towards the encroachers. This is shown in the film since a Pentagon functionary who discovers the Aliens presence takes as first step the action of citing the Secretary of Defense.

A really outstanding thought shown in the movie is the American place in respects of struggle against enemies. It is really of import to stand out their function as negotiants and a peaceable society at the beginning of the movie, they ab initio will non assail unless they are attacked. In the movie, the first attack to the foreigners by the American authorities is a peaceable 1. After this peaceable effort goes awfully incorrect and the foreigners onslaught, the ground forces is given the green visible radiation to revenge. This response as we mentioned before was of class more than ready.

This peaceable characteristic of the American society has every bit good analogues in the official paperss. In the Declaration Of Independence, it is stated that the King of England had attacked foremost by puting military personnels in American district even in times of peace. It besides says that America will remain in peace with all its Alliess and friends but will be in war with any enemy.

Making an analysis of the chief characters ‘ points of position we can see that they ever keep an attitude of courage and enthusiasm. First of all we can see how the President ever keeps a courageous image and is ne’er afraid or intimidated by the Aliens ; he is ever present at every minute, declining any invitation to a shelter and making everything possible for his state. This thought is reinforced when he decides to be a member of the concluding violative combat like any other soldier.

Another component depicted in the movie that reinforces this thought of America as a peaceful and caring state yet ready to conflict, is how solidarity is an indispensable feature of all characters ‘ personality. This thought is conspicuously shown one time once more in the President. He is invariably shown as a loving household adult male. He appears for the first clip during the movie while having a call from his married woman and being with his girl. He stays with his girl throughout the full movie and has his married woman in head. On the other manus, David is shown as a character attached to moral unity, an conservationist ever concerned about taking attention of the planet and the greater good. He is because of that the first 1 to travel against the determination of establishing a atomic assault.

Another recurrent subject in the movie is the word picture of the United States as a technological ace power. Scientists are during the narrative more than support characters, they are heroes. Since the beginning of the movie scientific installations are shown. In fact the first character to look in the movie is a scientist. The movie goes back and Forth between political and scientific scenarios in which all characters interact. America displays power in the movie through political relations, the ground forces and engineering. All these three scenarios are closely intertwined and together organize what makes the United States a ace power in the movie.

As mentioned, scientific discipline appears in the movie really early. The first image is a shooting of the American flag placed on the Moon demoing one of the biggest accomplishments of humanity in footings of infinite geographic expedition. Then it continues by picturing a scene of a High-tech installation in which scientists discover for the first clip the presence of the Alien encroachers. The importance of scientific discipline in the film non merely as a tool of endurance but as an icon of American pride is reinforced every clip that characters face an obstruction in footings of engineering. Very early in the movie a member of the armed forces is aggravated when an employee of the Pentagon admits that they are confused about what is traveling on.

Another characteristic of the movie related to the word picture of engineering is the manner that other states ‘ engineering is represented. Iraq and Russia are shown as states in ruins after the foreign onslaught, the Russian orbiter is shown as old and is instantly destroyed, it is implied that the lone web the Aliens usage is the American 1.

David is hence the most of import character in the movie in footings of engineering. His personal journey goes from being a scientist who failed professionally despite his surveies and intelligence to being the 1 who discovers the foreigner communicating system and the 1 who learns how to destruct their defences. David is the mastermind who represents the true power of America which is non the beastly show of force but the usage of cognition, engineering and advancement. It is because of him that the universe has to follow America ‘s lead during conflict.

Another really outstanding representation of America in the movie is that of the state being shown as a brave and resilient state. Americans are shown as heroes who overcome hardship no affair how strong their oppositions may be, ever willing to support themselves and their people, American scientists, politicians and soldiers seem to be utterly resilient and indestructible. That characteristic though is non shown as the get downing point of the movie, in fact, America ‘s most powerful metropoliss are destroyed and all of their military attempts are rendered useless before the onslaught is successful exposing a narrative of heroes who had to give everything in order to win and who to be able to support their freedom had to trust on their courage merely.

Indeed America is shown as the “ Land of The Free and the Home of The Brave ” many times during the film. The figures of the President and the First Lady are illustrations of bravery, unwilling to conceal, both decide to remain with the people of America during the foreigner onslaughts even after they are offered protection. The First Lady ‘s forfeit is hence the ultimate show of courage and will to defy against the oppressors. Even right before her decease she is shown as a warrior who has set her head on the lone end of supporting her state even at the point of give uping her life, she says she trusts her hubby ‘s capablenesss in winning the conflict turning her decease into the traveling force of the President ‘s finding to win.

The President is so the most of import figure of courage and resiliency. Not merely he is challenged in footings of his occupation he is besides personally attacked and has his household destroyed before he can stand against the foreigners. This mixture of professional and personal duty comes together in his function as a soldier. The President is besides a soldier with particular abilities in the Fieldss of air combat, he personally leads the concluding conflict against the foreigners, because of this ground he is cardinal to America ‘s triumph, he embodies the might of the State, the courage of Americans and the people ‘s will to defy and boom through great attempts.

Other chief characters are symbols of bravery and resiliency. Russell is the everyman who even after being described as a bad male parent and mediocre adult male saves the twenty-four hours by demoing that nil else is more of import than functioning his state and carry throughing his responsibilities as an American soldier, the President grants him the position of hero, because of this ground Russell receives the blessing of his household and in malice of his old failure he turns into a hero because of his courage and willing to give.

Steven is besides the soldier who is willing to lose everything if it is for his state and his loved 1s. His motives are carry throughing his dream of being an spaceman, functioning his state and protecting the household he wants to organize with Jasmine. He puts himself at great hazard by being a portion of the stealing mission to destruct the enemy defence and does it without any vacillation. The same goes for David who as a member of this mission risks everything in name of the things he believes in, he is shown as an conservationist who would make anything in order to salvage his state.

Jasmine on the other manus shows another type of opposition. She is the 1 that as a chief character represents the people of America. The mundane combatant, the passionate female parent, she can merely defy by making what every civilian can make, being brave and swearing her province leaders. This is another outstanding characteristic of the movie. Peoples are shown as hopeless yet courageous citizens, they do n’t hold the strength to contend against the foreigners but do so by seting their trust in their authorities.

The American civilians have anyhow a common feature with the military and authorities their failing that turns into courage and eventually triumph. Then war is non between two every bit powerful oppositions, worlds are evidently outnumbered and overpowered. Their machines and arms are shown as bantam following to the immense arms of the foreigners, even the concluding arm against their defences is bantam, a computing machine virus, demoing that intelligence, bravery and forfeit are worth more than natural force.


One of the most outstanding symbols shown in the film is the address given by the President to the soldiers prior to the conflict against the foreigners, where non merely are displayed loyal ideals but besides America is depicted as a state that to the full represents the promises of the American dream. One of the chief symbolic mentions is the declaration of the 4th of July as a world-wide jubilation widening the thought of The United States national independency to the full universe declaring that manner that the ideals of the American revolution and its independency values are applicable to the full universe and should hence be celebrated by all states since they represent what is good for every state.

This mention to the 4th of July, which is of class a chief thought in the movie sing its relevancy in relation to the rubric, topographic points America as the leader of the universe. The United States authorities and its military establishments are the 1s to get down and take the onslaught against the foreign menace ; the mentioned address keeps a strong moral and military rhetoric manner. The response from the hearers of the address is extremely emotional as they are all willing to support these cosmopolitan values in a clear mention to The American Dream.

On the other manus we can speak about the symbols displayed visually. Throughout the movie different topographic points are shown and many are representative of American civilization. Chiefly, authorities edifices like the Pentagon or the White House and national memorials like the Statue of Liberty are shown, besides the skylines of New York City and the metropolis of Los Angeles are repeatedly featured. These symbols are a representation of the chief facets of American civilization in relation to The American Dream ; authorities edifices represent the power of the United States, its importance in maintaining peace and order, as they show the importance of democracy. Cities like New York or Los Angeles are non merely the chief economic centres of the state but the most celebrated touristic finishs in America.


Finally it can be seen how the construct of the American Dream has a really of import function in everything related to the American civilization, from it, the bases for a great sum of societal ideals that represent and promote American civilization and individuality have been formed. The American Dream efforts to carry through all ideals of equality and common wellbeing a state where the dreams of all its members can go a world depending on the extent to which they belong to the American society.

It is really interesting besides to analyse how these constructs go back to authoritative texts like the Declaration Of Independence and the Constitution of the United States since the importance of making a planetary state had already been stated. Taking this into history, it can be seen how this movie includes clear mentions reaffirming the cultural importance of the American Dream in a planetary context by demoing how this state has the capacity of being a universe leader and maintaining a society together.

In the movie, the constructs that depict the United States as a state with a perfect authorities system can be seen. America achieves through democracy a society that has equal rights for everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender and societal differences but most of the movie depicts America as a state able to maintain a society in harmoniousness where corporate aims and single dreams are fulfilled.

Finally, in footings of the enquiry that guides this paper, it can be seen that the movie greatly represents the American Dream. Even from the rubric which refers to an American vacation but places it on a planetary context we can see how this movie shows American values as the reply the universe needs to be able to last the invasion. We can see in the movie how the United States is tested and destroyed merely so it can reaffirm itself as a powerful state in all its facets, chiefly culturally, demoing the importance of the American Dream at a national and international degree.

Word count: 3974

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