The White Album Themes

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The American Dream

The American Dream is an underlying theme throughout the collection of essays "The White Album" by Joan Didion. It is returned to obliquely and directly several times as the writer studies the lives of great people (James Pike for example) the lives of the famous (Jim Morrison, Linda Kasabian) and the events of her times (the Vietnam War, the Black Panthers, the Student Uprisings).

The American Dream is a necessarily amorphous concept, encapsulating as it does the values of Liberty, of Celebrity, and of upward social mobility). This pursuit of the better and the new seems to occupy the behaviors of most of the normal people that Joan Didion interviews, from Dallas Beardley the actress to the Jaycee club members and even in a sense the revolutionaries. Didion finds clues and symptoms of the American Dream in places, as in Hollywood and California and finds that...

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This section contains 865 words
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Buy The White Album Study Guide
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