What is the most relevant theme that emerges from Seabiscuit: An American Legend?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the most relevant theme that comes out of Hillenbrand's work is the resiliency within the American Dream.  I feel that this is the most relevant theme because it is seen with so many characters.  The theme of the American Dream and the resiliency and reinvention that is a part of it is something that is seen in the horse, itself, as well as those who are around him.  From this, the larger issues can be linked to the themes of the time period.  Seabiscuit is a horse that so many have given up on in terms of talent and thinking that he had a shot to be a champion.  In many respects, the horse is akin to the American public who is enduring the throes of the Great Depression and life within it.  In both the American people and the horse, there is an affirmation of reinvention and never surrendering on one's dreams.  This is something that Charles Howard embodies in his own narrative, as well as Red Pollard with his own struggles as a part of his story, and what Tom Smith embodies in working with Seabiscuit.  The fact that the American Dream theme fits both the characters in the story as well as the social and historical setting in which they are immersed is what makes it the most relevant theme.


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