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The Desert In The American Dream

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Heat, sweat, and dehydration; those are the words that greatly associate with the desert. The desert is portrayed as a barren place that inhabits occupants with high electricity bills due to the constant running of their air conditioning, or old time western folktales. Cue the western cowboy standoff music as the comedic tumbleweed makes its appearance across the desert landscape. Now pause the scene and remove all the exterior objects until the nothing except the desert is visible. With closer inspection of the scene, a godly atmosphere can be exhibited by the barren desert, thereby causing a desire to drop everything and start over. The desert offers redemption to those who seek it, as well as an opportunity to escape reality. Places such as Los Angeles and Hollywood are loosely defined as being a desert because it is where they originated from. In comparison to Hollywood, the desert appears to have nothing to offer, so why do people seek refuge there? The role of the desert in Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays and Sam Shepard’s True West is portrayed as being a sanctuary for both Maria and BZ, as well as Austin and Lee. Therefore, the desert serves a role in both works by becoming a sanctuary to escape the destructive clutches of Hollywood.

As compared to Hollywood, the desert does not have a set lifestyle to live by, such as living the American Dream. The American Dream designed in Hollywood is to have the perfect family, to live in a comfortable home and to constantly
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