Decay of Ethics in David Mamet’s American Buffalo

Ehsan Dehghani, Mehdi Sepehrmanesh

Abstract


The American Dream is a recurrent theme in American literature. In this response, this paper is an attempt to expose the destructive effects of the dream on human spirits and relations and how it is contradicted in different ways through the analysis of his brilliant play, American Buffalo by David Mamet. Beneath the seeming simple surface of the play lies a deep current of meanings that reflect the calamities of modern American life, and in a broader sense, the modern world. This article indicates how capitalism inculcates ideologies in the mind of individuals in order to facilitate the exploiting process and unquestioning subordination. Ragged individualism, as one of these ideologies, disrupts all communal bonds and even exceeds to the disintegration of friendship and family life. On the other hand, this individualism, as an ideology, is sustained by other capitalist ideologies such as advertising, consumerism and emulation. It will also be discussed that monetary interests are all one seeks in a highly competitive atmosphere and nothing is privileged over business ethics. In brief, this reading of the play tries to illuminate that we live in a dream-like world of ideologies that block logical thinking and forge our relationship with our real existence through less suspected ways.


Keywords


American Dream, Ideology, Capitalism, Individualism, Consumerism

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.2n.5p.10

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