Seabiscuit: an American Legend Themes

Laura Hillenbrand
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Seabiscuit.
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Catharsis

Seabiscuit's meteoric rise in the national consciousness represented a type of catharsis, or cleansing of emotion, of all that was negative in an era marked by economic downturn, mass unemployment, and hardship. According to Hillenbrand, "America was desperate to lose itself in anything that offered affirmation." People of that time identified with Seabiscuit, an unlikely hero that was a victim of situations beyond his control. With his determined success, they were afforded a vicarious victory for themselves, and a temporary release from their own troubles. Release was more than psychological, however, for horseracing provided an inexpensive form of entertainment, as well as the lure of quick riches through potentially winning bets.

The American Dream

Seabiscuit personified the American dream, the belief that the underdog—human or beast—can overcome adversity and through persistence, intelligence, and hard work, rise to the top. The American dream is a concept with...

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This section contains 830 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Seabiscuit: an American Legend Study Guide
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