The New Athletic American Dream- Draft 2

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The New Athletic American Dream- Draft 2

  1. 1. Gaertner 1Alex GaertnerDr. DiSarroENG 101- Section 1229 February 2012 The New Athletic American Dream as Portrayed in Films The American Dream can take many different shapes and forms. There are manydifferent aspects. Andrew Miller looks into the athletic American dream in his article,“TheAmerican Dream Goes to College”. This dream became evident during the late 1920’s. Whileanalyzing many films and other authorities, Miller describes to the reader the significance ofthis dream. Focusing on understanding the message and arrangement of this article proves theeffectiveness at persuading an audience. These features of the article are important becausethey are the critical components that make the article a worthwhile read. “TheAmerican Dream Goes to College”, written by Andrew C. Miller, discusses the massnumbers of movies of the sports film genre that were created in the late 1920’s. Miller isexplaining why this happened and what was happening in America at the time to influence it.He believes these films have portrayed a new athletic American dream. With an examination ofmany films of this time, Miller was able to identify three main factors contributing to theirmaking. One, football is incredibly popular at this time and Hollywood wanted to portray that.Second, the college campus was an ideal location for this scenario to take place. Lastly, thesefilms displayed an elimination of class differences. After going into further detail of these
  2. 2. Gaertner 2points, the audience is able to have an understanding of why these films were created in suchlarge numbers and what was happening in America that influenced it. Logos is the most important and prevalent rhetorical appeal when trying to persuade anaudience. The main purpose of writing an article is to reveal some type of message. There is amajor difference between just stating a message and describing a message. The audience willnot fully believe or understand the message if the author does not use any evidence. He canuse many different types of evidence to persuade an audience. The least noticeable appeal ispathos; it is harder to interpret the intended audience for this article. The author, Andrew C. Miller, establishes his personal credibility through a smallbiography at the very end of the article. The reader learns he is an assistant professor focusingon media production. While writing this article Miller was also furthering his studies on theAmerican sports film genre by writing a manuscript for the cultural history. Throughout thearticle the reader ascertains that Miller is knowledgeable because of the many facts he uses tosupport his statements. Miller quotes many outside sources and then goes on to further explainhow they relate to his message. The author is writing this article to inform people of a topic thathas been overlooked. He believes the 1920’s were a time period in which many movies weremade circling around sports in college and the new “athletic American dream” they created.This athletic American dream portrays a life in which with a lot of hard work and determinationone can be lead to victory. Throughout the article, Miller is explaining the reasoning for why somany movies of this genre were made during this time period. He intends to answer thequestion of what cultural moment was occurring in cinema and in American society at this time.
  3. 3. Gaertner 3 The use of a lot of specific evidence is very helpful in portraying his specific message.Andrew Miller uses various forms of evidence to support his claims and further develop hisdiscussion. He references numerous screen plays of the sports film genre that were madeduring the late 1920’s. For example, Miller lists numerous films to show evidence of hisprevious statement, “The titles of some films like Spirit of Notre Dame (1931) and Rose Bowl(1936) loudly announce their football connections as well as their college affiliations…” (Miller1227). Miller easily persuades the audience to believe what he is talking about because he isable to reference numerous films. This furthers the reader’s opinion that Miller is educated onthe subject he is discussing. In addition to referencing movies, Miller also quotes many otherauthorities, including sports historians. Another key piece of evidence Miller uses to persuadethe audience is visual aids. Miller includes pictures of a movie poster and a book advertisement.The use of these visual aids is extremely powerful in persuading the reader because it is givingthem something tangible to look at. The reader is able to make the connection to real lifethrough the use of real advertisements. The article is arranged in a very easy to follow format. Miller starts out by laying out themain points of his article as well as some background information in the first two and halfpages. Miller states the exact question his article is going to answer and then lightly touches onthe three main points of the answer. After the introduction the article breaks into 4 subsections going into further detail of the three main points he outlined in the introduction. Thisarrangement helps the reader to easily understand what the main point of each section is. It isbasically laid out in question and answer format, therefore making it simple for the reader toabsorb the most important information.
  4. 4. Gaertner 4 While reading the article the audience can tell Miller is very passionate about thesubject because of his language. Occasionally he will make statements which indicate hisopinion. For example, while describing the three main points of the article he portrays whichone he favors, “And finally, and most interestingly, these football films repeatedly engage withissues of class movement…” (Miller 1224). The use of the phrase, “most interestingly”demonstrates to the audience Miller’s own interest in this specific subtopic. By displaying hisown interest in the information it can make the audience gain more interest because they willwant to continue reading to find out why he believes it is interesting. Works CitedMILLER, ANDREW C. "The American Dream Goes To College: The Cinematic Student Athletes Of College Football." Journal Of Popular Culture 43.6 (2010): 1222-1241. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
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