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The American Dream is just a dream

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Kiril1 Comment

I wrote in my first post on Lemuel Pitkin that his optimism is meant to be parodied in West’s novel, but that I was not entirely convinced—that I still found it somewhat inspiring to witness such a character be so optimistic throughout such trials and tribulations. However, it is worth noting that aspect of Nathanael West’s writing which intended to …

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Cumulative culture

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by CocoLeave a Comment

On: America as a “Proper Receptacle”: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million, Naomi Kubo I found it interesting to be made aware of the contrasting facts the writer emphasizes: Indeed America has little to no cumulative culture, and yet everyone was and is looking so desperately to find some ‘All American’ nationalistic values. In ‘America as a “Proper Receptacle’, Naomi Kubo …

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“Great” “America”

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by EsabelleYCLeave a Comment

America as a “Proper Receptacle”: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: or, the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin by Naomi Kubo Naomi Kubo writes in her review “Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: or, the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin” that “this novel describes not only the nightmarish outcome of the unfulfilled American Dream but also the chaotic political situation in 1930s America, including …

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The Dismantlement of Lemuel Pitkin

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Aadi1 Comment

A Cool Million is a violent satire on the desperate conditions of the economic abyss. It seems like Nathanael West is making a joke of the intense struggle that some went through, at points of the novel it seems like the ‘hero’ Lem is injured just for the sake of being hurt. The entire novel is him taking hit after …

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Whether It Is Worthwhile Or Not To Be A Fool

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Snacks1 Comment

Jay Martin explains to us early in his paper entitled West’s Burlesque Comedy that “…Edmund Wilson spoke of the connection between vulgar buffoonery and ‘wistfulness and sadness’ in burlesque (7).” If you read my post from Monday, you know that this verbalizes how I felt about A Cool Million (although the quote here is in regards to burlesque). Even in the moments …

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Great America

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Melanie1 Comment

While reading A Cool Million I certainly felt like there was a similarity between the book and today’s political climate. The blaming of outsiders for the breaking down of the American Dream seems to be a common theme in both today’s America, and the America portrayed in “A Cool Million.” But that parallel between the two in my mind was …

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Dreams Can Kill, Or At Least Maul

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Laura1 Comment

Maria Almanza’s article entitled Dismantling the American Boy: Nathaniel West’s A Cool Million takes a fresh perspective on the novel’s association with Horatio Alger’s story. She explains that West’s novel is in fact the opposite of that story dismantling the illusion that Alger’s novel poses of the American Dream. This is absolutely accurate and so obvious it is shocking that …

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How to Be a “Real American”

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Veronica1 Comment

Naomi Kubo’s “America as a “‘Proper Receptacle’: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: or, the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin” poses many questions with her analysis of Nathanael West’s “A Cool Million” — from what constitutes the extent of someone’s sign value to what it means to be American. I want to explore topics such as these as they relate to not …

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Money for Nothing

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Ian1 Comment

In reading ‘Struggling Upward’ Graham discusses the obvious philosophy in A Cool Million that West reasoning “is to destroy the “rags to riches” story popularized by Horatio Alger”. However, it could also be looked at as a pro-class stabilizing novel. Especially considering how “West emphasized the human costs implicit in the illusion that ambition, hard work, and thrift will automatically …

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The Making of America

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Agne1 Comment

A Cool Million by Nathanael West is a story about what America does to people, but at the same time, it also depicts how this America is built. In a section of her essay called “America as a “Proper Receptacle”: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: or, the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin” Naomi Kubo explores Wu Fong’s brothel as a representative …

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The American Nightmare

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Emily2 Comments

In Maria Almanza’s essay “Dismantling the American Boy: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million“, she claims that the injuries and hardships Lem sustains once he leaves his home for New York symbolize the “harsh social realities of urban industrial modernity”(53). A Cool Million could certainly be taken as a critique on many aspects of America, one of them being big cities. When living in …

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Culture to the Rescue

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Madison1 Comment

In trying times, people turn to culture and the arts for relief from reality. During the Great Depression, individuals made every effort to forget their financial sorrows through consumption of cinema, sports, and fashion. In “The Folklore of Capitalism,” Jonathan Veitch proposes this ‘rediscovery of culture’ is an ongoing response to the ‘corrosive process of modernization’ within American life. In …

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West in Extremistan

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Michael1 Comment

John Graham’s analysis of A Cool Million attempts to convey the purpose of the Nathaniel West’s depressing novel. In Grahm’s words, A Cool Million, “destroys the American dream,” and argues that his father’s lack of success motivated West to warn readers of the dangers of the American dream. Graham points out an important fallacy in the commonly understood American dream: …

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Madness is the Emergency Exit

In The Travel Habit, West (2) by Lu Maw1 Comment

Almanza’s Dismantling the American Boy: Nathanael West’s A Cool Million takes the symbolic approach to interpret West’s vivid imagery and talks about the ‘collective ego’ of the American Dream (pg. 75). On the other hand, Martin’s Nathanael West’s Burlesque Comedy points to the upbringing West had as a child and the many similarities that his work had to the comedic nature …