The Play American Dreams, by Studs Terkel

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American Dream

The Play American Dreams, written by Studs Terkel, is made up of 18 different monologues divided into six sections including fantasies, nightmares, hallucinations, visions, sweet dreams, and broken reveries. The play incorporates voices from people like the rich and famous, to the ambiguous, optimists, and skeptics that portray what America and the people are like. In each of the monologues Terkel uses a historical event. A specific author and historical event in The American Dream to catch my attention is Jill Robinson and the Hollywood blacklisting.

Jill Robinson was born in Los Angeles California, and is well known for her stories about Hollywood myths, legends and her childhood experiences in Hollywood. Jill is the daughter of famous Oscar and Tony winner, Dore Schary and artist, M. Svet. Her monologue in American Dreams is about broken dreams in Hollywood and her thoughts about Hollywood being a “Jewish Revenge on America.” A famous quote in The American Dreams by Robinson reads “I wanted to be one of those girls the guys just wanted to do one thing to.” Jill’s thoughts about the Jewish Revenge on Hollywood led into the topic of blacklisting, something today America frowns upon. The historic event of Hollywood’s blacklisting caught my attention as well. According to MBC, blacklisting is “the practice of refusing to hire or terminating from employment an individual whose opinions or associations are deemed politically inconvenient or commercially troublesome.” The convergence of two cultural historical factors assisted the blacklist, including Soviet Communism and American Democracy. Blacklisting was common during the Cold War era in America when Jill Robinson’s wrote her monologue. Bob Brown also mentions blacklisting in his monologue making the topic a recognized problem during the era.
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