Themes Overview

The works that we have read in this course – American Fiction since WWII – have displayed many themes, but the themes that I have chosen to focus on for each unit are as follows:
Unit 1 – Alienation (The 1950s-60s)
Unit 2 – Family Dynamics (The 1970s-80s)
Unit 3 – Separation: The Alienation of Parents and Children (The 1990s-Present)

As you can see, these themes work cumulatively, first focusing on the ideas of alienation or family dynamics within the readings, then combining the two themes for the third unit.  It just so happened that the two previously chosen themes built onto one another and provided the final unit theme.  It is only fitting that the works written closer to the WWII timeframe would dominantly proclaim the theme of alienation as it is a common theme of postmodern works, but the theme continues throughout the twentieth-century readings: the family dynamics theme shows how different family members can either alienate themselves or others via the dysfunction that we call family, and the alienation continues when parents and children are separated for one reason or another.

Each decade/unit has a specific page dedicated to it, noted by the tab at the top of the page.  For each unit, the theme and brief description has been provided, along with a graphic that somehow supports the theme.  The specific authors and texts chosen for the unit have been provided on each unit homepage with hyperlinks to each respective post (the link will take you to the page directly, or you may press CTRL and right-click in order to make the post appear in a new window).  Each unit homepage also features an embedded music video/recording that supports the specific theme.  In addition, the artifacts that appear with each post either lend themselves to the theme of the unit or the particular details of the chosen text (provided by Google images or other students).

To properly view the themes and posts in order, please visit each unit page chronologically, viewing each specific author/work post in order as they appear on the page.  For example, the “Themes Overview” page should be viewed first, then “The 1950s-60s” page (which includes posts on Ellison, Jackson, and O’Connor), then “The 1970s-80s” page, followed by “The 1990s-Present” page.

*It should be noted that, for whatever reason, not all of the posts currently appear when they are accessed on the Home page by clicking “Older Posts” – the directions above must be followed or the entirety of the posts cannot be viewed.*

Additionally, I sub-titled this blog with a quote from Budnitz's work "Nice Big American Baby" as I felt it most appropriately summed up the main point of this collection of works.
Thank you for reading! Enjoy!

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