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Analysis Of The Movie ' Under The Lion 's Paw '

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The American dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, however, it can only be achieved through hard work in a fair society. The American Dream played a major role during the 1890’s when the Great Depression stung the country. The concept of this state of mind tends to lead to false hope that every person can live a richer and more full life, with equal opportunity regardless of social class. Hamlin Garland’s “Under The Lion’s Paw” reinforces the socio-economic factors that cause people trying to obtain the American dream to fail and refers to this state of mind as the “lion’s paw.” Garland shares with the audience the negative effects that success can bring, leading to greed, and the issue of land speculation. Garland brings attention to the consequences that the American dream arises, such as the never ending cycle of poverty due to socio-economic factors that prevent people from achieving the “dream.”
Garland uses key symbols in diction and language throughout the story to foreshadow Haskins’ inevitable demise. When Mrs. Haskins is overcome with affection from the Council’s, she starts to believes that there is compassion in the world after all. Garland writes, “The world was not so desolate and cold and hopeless, after all,” (490) foreshadowing Haskins’ run in with Butler’s dishonorable double-cross with their deal. Once the Haskins’ have their run in with the issue of land
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