Zinn, Its a Wonderful Life and Fight Club

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Barbara G
History 18
13 March 2013

With each American taking their own view on how our culture pursues materialistic self-interest wither positively or negatively we see this contrast in Morris Berman’s book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline, Frank Capra’s movie It’s a Wonderful Life and in Chuck Palahniuk’s movie Fight Club. Each of them giving us a different perspective on how they portray American‘s view on how we feel a need of materialistic items in our lives. Each piece we have looked at wither its Capra’s conflict of David vs. Goliath as his story shows us the conflict between Baily and Potter, Berman’s conflict between corporate America and its people or Palahniuk’s in your face view on how Americans due to their constant need for materialistic goods end up with these “things you own end up owning you.” Not only are we fighting conflict with “The Man” but as all three illustrated we also have conflict within ourselves. Leading to what path we choose to take the one that benefits the individual or the one that benefits the greater good. No matter whose view we look at it all comes back to the same thing conflict and how we deal with it. Berman quotes from Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville and he talks about the American life how its full of worry and how people pursue success that eludes them forever in which they are seeking materialistic success with the largest return in the shortest amount of time. Both men in the movies struggled with this materialistic goal as well. Although they were made 50 years apart it shows that as Americans we still are pursuing the same goals. Goals, not ones of happiness, love, or health but a goal of achieving as much stuff as possible. George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life shows us that. He wanted to be a millionaire before the age of thirty, grand ideas of building huge buildings, never did he mention striving to be happy, healthy or loved. We also see this in our main character in Fight...
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