Novel Reflections on the American Dream


  • American Masters | The American Dream in the Grapes of Wrath

    In this video from the American Masters film Novel Reflections on the American Dream, see the quest for the American dream as depicted in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Follow the Joad family as they search for work and humanity in the depths of the Great Depression. Book excerpts paired with photographic reenactments and expert commentary help tell the story.

    Grades: 9-12
  • American Masters | Meet F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby

    Meet F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic character Jay Gatsby in this video from the American Masters film Novel Reflections on the American Dream. Learn about the spectacle of Gatsby, the techniques the author uses to present Gatsby, and the role of perspective and narration in shaping a reader or viewer’s interpretation of a character or event.

    Grades: 9-12
  • American Masters | Gatsby Chases the American Dream

    In this video from the American Masters film Novel Reflections on the American Dream, learn about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his notorious fictional character Jay Gatsby. Both were in the pursuit of the American dream and love. Students will explore the topic of the American dream as it applies to the book and to their own lives through the accompanying teaching tips.

    Grades: 9-12
  • American Masters | The Street by Ann Petry: Black Single Mother Seeks the American Dream

    In this video from the American Masters film Novel Reflections on the American Dream we meet Lutie Johnson, the African-American single mother heroine of Ann Petry’s novel The Street. The video gives an introduction to the novel and Lutie’s aspirations to find stability and independence in her Harlem neighborhood in the midst of race, class, and gender biases. 

    Grades: 9-12
  • American Masters | Typical American: An Immigrant’s American Dream Story

    Get an introduction to Gish Jen’s novel Typical American to explore the American dream through the eyes of a Chinese immigrant. The video, from the American Masters film Novel Reflection on the American Dream, introduces the common challenge of reconciling an immigrant’s native identity with the demands of new life in America.

    Grades: 9-12

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