American Dream: Idealism or Realism

by capreviewroom

James Fray the writer of Bright Shiny morning wrote four main stories in the book Bright shiny morning which took place in Los Angeles. These four main stories revolve around Amberton, a gay movie star; Dylan and Maddie, two nineteen year olds who ran away from home; Esperanza, a female Mexican that was born in a desert and Old man Joe, a runaway who turned into a homeless drunk. The pattern on how these four main stories are completely random, therefore making it quite difficult to follow. Frey uses these four main stories and other random stories to show the readers the other side of America, away from the famous image of fame and rich opportunities to illustrate the darker and wicked side of the American Dream. Is the American Dream even possible to achieve?


Frey purposely tries to produce this image of where Los Angeles is this place where dreams are hard to achieve and when the things begin to turn “bright and shiny”, around the corner there is this dark outcome where the characters end up suffering. Even though the title is Bright Shiny Morning which makes the reader envision happiness, hope and new beginnings, what Frey portrays is actually closer to reality which is more ominous and pragmatic. The pattern that Frey organizes the stories is extremely perplexing because it jumps from a different scenario every few pages. For example we would begin with Experanza for five pages then suddenly jump to old man Joe, Frey not only moves from these four main stories but includes several other random stories that does not relate to any of the four main stories, which makes it exceedingly complex to follow through with a single train of thought.


Frey did a tremendous job on grabbing the reader’s attention or at least my attention through his captivating writing. Even though I greatly disapprove of how he organizes his stories, nonetheless it is a easy read and enjoyable twist to every story. Back to my original question after reading the novel, the American Dream that Frey portrayed is definitely unachievable because of his disheartening endings in every single story.






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