To which major themes, from the list below, does Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart relate the most? Please provide specific examples. Thanks. 1) The quest for happiness/ The American...

To which major themes, from the list below, does Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart relate the most? Please provide specific examples. Thanks.

1) The quest for happiness/ The American dream

2) Religious faith or the idea of some sort of ultimate meaning or design in life

3) The notion that the United States has some distinctive status, character, or role on the global stage

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Super Sad True Love Story can be interpreted in various ways. However, there is a pervading sense of always searching and always believing that there is something better to strive towards. Such it is for Lenny Abramov who believes that immortality holds the key to his future; a future he only now feels confident and secure in because of Eunice Park. Lenny says, early on, that he is now excited to “outlive the earth and depart from its familiar womb,” and he suggests that “primitive man” has realized that life exists beyond life as we know it as others “Witness his (mankind’s) first hankerings for immortality, his discipline, his selflessness.”

When Lenny returns to the US from Rome, he is questioned and intimidated, via his “apparat,” and later, whilst talking to Mrs Nettie Fine, there is much talk of proud Americans and the way the world is changing. Lenny remembers, as a child, how his immigrant parents would drive around poor neighborhoods – even poorer than their own- in order to “pick up important lessons about what failure could mean in America.” It is, Nettie maintains, especially difficult for “our poor boys;” and Lenny feels duty-bound to remind her that there is “still only one America.” Mrs Fine is somewhat bitter, wondering aloud about Lenny’s parents who came to the US from Russia: “They came all the way to America, and for what? For what?” Lenny reminds Mrs Fine that “there’s still only one America.” The fact that Lenny thinks of Mrs Fine as the family’s “native-born savior,” reinforces the belief that being American affords Americans that “distinctive” status referred to in the question.

Lenny suggests that, even the Italians can teach the Americans something and says, “We Americans can learn a lot from their graceful decline. He is also aware that Italy is the last European country which “still smooches our ass.” It is becoming more apparent that Americans have been admired and envied in the past and Lenny is hoping against all hope that America is still to be revered:

“I took out my U.S. passport and held it in my hand, fingering its embossed golden eagle, still hoping it meant something. I remember how my parents would talk about the luck of their having left the Soviet Union for America. Oh God, I thought, let there still be such luck in this new world.”

Despite American influence, it is now losing ground as the dollar value drops to its lowest and that American influence is floundering to the point where, "Who were these people all around me? Americans, I guess. But what did that even mean anymore?"

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