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I would say that the most overwhelming symbol in Hilebrand’s work is the horse itself. When placed in the context of 1930’s Depression America, so much of what Seabiscuit, the horse, represented was symbolic. The fact that the horse was meant to be more than it was and then discarded as a failure when it could not meet such lofty expectations could be symbolic of the typical American that emerged from the 1920s America into the realm of the 1930s, where economic hopes were met with economic despair. The fact that the horse was a fighting horse, with an irrepressible spirit is symbolic of what leaders like Roosevelt saw America at the time, a force that cannot be denied. Hollywood leading men of the time were constructed in a very similar way to Seabiscuit, the horse. The leading men of the time period were “ordinary guys” or “shy guys” who were capable of extraordinary accomplishments. The idea of regular people being called upon to do amazing feats was similar to the construction of the horse itself, as a horse that no one counted upon being called to do great things, as well. In the end, the horse that “no one wanted” is called upon to be a symbol of the American spirit of the time period.
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