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THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN IDENTITY IN AMERICAN MELODRAMA

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Author(s): Ribut Basuki

Journal: K@ta : a Biannual Publication on the Study of Language and Literature
ISSN 1411-2639

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: ideology | melodrama | hero | cultural poetics | hegemony | identity | villains | history

ABSTRACT
Melodrama reflects and constructs ideology. In American melodrama, the dominant social group imposed its ideology by constructing the standard American identity and its opposite through the heroes and villains. In the four plays discussed, the standard is pictured through the heroes in terms of their ability to get financial success, their acceptance of the Protestant moral codes, and their being white. Thus, in the world of melodrama people of color as well as financially deprived people are marginalized.

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