The Gangster American Dream
The Great Depression created great financial hardships all around the United States. Along with a poor economy, prohibition was greatly discouraged as well, starting a tremendous social movement in the 1920s and 30s, specifically related to gang crimes. These gangsters used bootlegging, bank robberies, and many other tactics in order for them to survive the national financial crisis. The two photograph selected depict most of the most notorious criminals of the Great Depression era. The first is the famous couple Bonnie and Clyde in 1933, many years after they began criminalizing the Midwest. The police in Missouri, one of their several hideouts, found the original photograph. The second photo is Jack Diamond (Jack Nolan) walking alongside four of his fellow hang members in what seems to be an urban city. Although a mere glance upon these two photographs may reveal barely any subtle information, by taking David Brooks’, “Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia” as well as Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” essay as lens’ surrounding the greediness behind the American Dream, we a can approach these photographs in a whole new way. This creates a deeper understanding of the hidden agendas these gangsters acquired.
David Brooks’ “Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia” is a strong-willed essay in his idea of American Society; specifically with the rise and expansion of suburbia. Through analysis, I found that the most significant concept in this essay was that it was the greediness that Americans had that truly inspired suburbia, or as Brooks had stated, “conservative utopias, where people go because they imagine orderly and perfect that can be led there” (65). In relation to the Great Depression era, these gangsters took this greed a few steps further to the extremes, thus creating what Brooks’ defined as the Paradise Spell. This spell ideology is based off of a life of full fantasies, paradise, and utopia that we Americans...
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