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dc.contributor.advisorPopescu-Sandu, Oana A.
dc.contributor.advisorGupta, Sukanya
dc.contributor.advisorHoeness-Krupsaw, Susanna M.
dc.contributor.advisorLee, Melanie
dc.contributor.authorRevelle, Michael Ross
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-09T18:13:42Z
dc.date.available2019-12-09T18:13:42Z
dc.date.issued2019
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12419/324
dc.descriptionThesis available in Rice Library University Archives and Special Collection.
dc.description.abstractThis thesis demonstrates how immigrant literature challenges the defining discourse maintained by the American Dream and power structures in U.S. society. It is a discourse that perpetuates myths and negative stereotypes about U.S. immigrants: specifically, that immigrants are detrimental to the U.S. economy, refuse to assimilate, and increase crime rates in this country. Additionally, it directly addresses the discourse of the American Dream which deceptively appears inclusive to every race and culture, calling out to immigrants everywhere offering hope to those who have none?? however, upon arrival to the U.S., it often becomes a doctrine of false hope with disillusioning effects. By examining its origins and the history of its representation, we can better understand how the American Dream partners with American Exceptionalism to maintain these myths. Immigrant literature uses writing and language as political and intellectual tools that question the discourse of the American Dream and explore immigrant perspectives thus giving voice to those who are traditionally marginalized in society. By contrasting the voice of the immigrant against the discourse of the Dream, we gain a better understanding of the commonalities within the immigrant experience and how they speak to the Dream. Immigrant literature mirrors a new demographic truth in the United States as research shows that minority populations will place current hegemonic powers in the minority by 2045. The novels examined in this study construct diverse narratives, through humor, social commentary, and reflective understanding that speaks accurately and directly to the complex relationships immigrants have with the U.S. They offer unique insight into the complicated realities of immigration and its relationship to the American Dream. Additionally, the characters represented in these texts shed light on the reductive stereotyping currently maintained in the discourse of the Dream, political rhetoric, and mainstream and social media.
dc.titleNegotiating the rhetoric of the American dream : immigrant literature and its role in the contemporary literary and political landscape
html.description.abstractThis thesis demonstrates how immigrant literature challenges the defining discourse maintained by the American Dream and power structures in U.S. society. It is a discourse that perpetuates myths and negative stereotypes about U.S. immigrants: specifically, that immigrants are detrimental to the U.S. economy, refuse to assimilate, and increase crime rates in this country. Additionally, it directly addresses the discourse of the American Dream which deceptively appears inclusive to every race and culture, calling out to immigrants everywhere offering hope to those who have none?? however, upon arrival to the U.S., it often becomes a doctrine of false hope with disillusioning effects. By examining its origins and the history of its representation, we can better understand how the American Dream partners with American Exceptionalism to maintain these myths. Immigrant literature uses writing and language as political and intellectual tools that question the discourse of the American Dream and explore immigrant perspectives thus giving voice to those who are traditionally marginalized in society. By contrasting the voice of the immigrant against the discourse of the Dream, we gain a better understanding of the commonalities within the immigrant experience and how they speak to the Dream. Immigrant literature mirrors a new demographic truth in the United States as research shows that minority populations will place current hegemonic powers in the minority by 2045. The novels examined in this study construct diverse narratives, through humor, social commentary, and reflective understanding that speaks accurately and directly to the complex relationships immigrants have with the U.S. They offer unique insight into the complicated realities of immigration and its relationship to the American Dream. Additionally, the characters represented in these texts shed light on the reductive stereotyping currently maintained in the discourse of the Dream, political rhetoric, and mainstream and social media.
dc.contributor.degreeMaster of Arts in English
dc.typeThesis (M.A.)--University of Southern Indiana, 2019


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