Our Town Questions and Answers
by Thornton Wilder

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Thornton Wilder's Our Town addresses expectations of normalcy in terms of a historically oriented American Dream. Choose a modern day cultural text that does the same. Explain how it does so, give examples, and address the implications.

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A text which addresses expectations of normalcy in terms of a historically oriented American Dream in a completely different way from Our Town is Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel, American Psycho. The dream in this work, of course, is a different one, but it is equally American. The protagonist, Patrick Bateman is everything a capitalist society reveres: young, rich, successful, handsome, and voraciously ambitious. He is a New York banker with a high-powered, highly-paid job, a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School, intelligent, charming and sexually successful, enjoying casual relationships with various beautiful women.

The text addresses expectations of normalcy by making this superficially glamorous and fortunate character a psychopath. Patrick is a serial killer who degenerates during the progress of the novel into experiments with animal abuse, torture, rape, cannibalism and necrophilia. Aside from his criminal activities, his high level of education and apparent...

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