Marxist Perspective
The title of the book, An American Tragedy, is highly important. I think of the American Dream when I read it, and how it becomes corrupt to become a tragedy. It shows the dark side of the American dream, the side with lies, lust and murder. This story starts out with Clyde, a young boy stuck in poverty who is embarrassed by his lifestyle. As he gets older, his dreams of leaving his family get stronger. One day his sister leaves home with an actor, who Clyde says does not love her. Soon, Clyde starts working and his dream is to work at the movie theater. Clyde’s parents did not allow any of their family members to even watch movies, because they thought it was a sin. We decided the movie theater was symbolic for the rich lifestyle that Clyde longed for, and in a way it tells how the famous American dream can easily become corrupt. He liked to watch the people in fancy coats and suits, and thought to himself that one day he would be like that. Also, once he starts working at the hotel he starts forgetting about his family. He lies about how much money he makes, so he will have more to himself. Also, he is being used by a girl who will only be with him if he buys her things. Clyde is slowly becoming more and more corrupt as the story goes on. Now, the reoccurring theme in this book is the desire for the American dream. Clyde wants to see the world, be attractive to girls, and most importantly he doesn’t want to be a part of his family’s religious lifestyle. He wants to step up the social ladder, and will do anything to be successful.