Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Jane Hill

Second Advisor

Anthony Viola

Third Advisor

Whitney Douglas


A multi-genre work combining New Journalism and literary analysis. The narrator (played by ―Girl in the bedtime stories) presents a critical essay exploring destabilized truths and dangers in an American dream that turns modern man into a machine. The goal is to show how the dream has evolved from the original Puritan dream set out by early American settlers/writers to the Postmodern vision of success (or failure) we read about today and what kind of effect this dream has on the average scholar. The thesis is broken up by reflections on her learning imbedded in dialogue with her always opinionated boyfriend (i.e., bedtime stories). The narrative itself is one student‘s pilgrimage through her education on literature and the American dream, focusing on the following major texts to define attainable American goals and unattainable American fairy tales with references to many others: Eliot‘s The Waste Land, Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse-Five, O‘Brien‘s ―The Things They Carried, and Cummings‘ ―Anyone Lived in a Pretty Howtown.


American Dream in literature