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Episode four, season two of the X-Files— “Home”, written and directed by Kim Manners and James Wong, highlights that the American Dream is a stereotype that isn’t for everyone. According to Merriam-Webster the “American Dream” is a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved especially by working hard and becoming successful. This definition was accompanied with an example sentence stating, “With good jobs, a nice house, two children, and plenty of money, they believed they were living the American dream.” A stereotype. The American Dream is a highly influential stereotype that the Peacock’s broke in almost every way possible.
The stereotypical family living the American Dream is a mother and a father with two kids and a dog; everyone is content and happy. Both of the parents have a college degree. Despite her education the mother is a stay-at-home mom who takes care of the family by doing all of the household chores. Her transportation of choice is a minivan. The father is responsible for the hard-labor and keeping the family financially stable, he drives his fairly modern car to his nine-to-five job. kids both attend school, are on the honor roll, and have extracurricular activities such as dance and soccer practice to go to after school. They live happily in a quant brick house, two stories, has a nice wrap-around porch, with rocking chairs, the lawn is impeccably manicured and enclosed in a white picket fence. Dinner is on the dining room table at approximately 6:00 pm every night, where everyone enjoys their meal together and reflects on what a great day they had. Lights are out by 8:30.
The Peacock family however demonstrates the polar opposite of the stereotypical American Dream. It was made up of 3 men, George Raymond Peacock approximate age 23, Sherman Nathaniel Peacock approximate age 26, and Edmond Crampon Peacock approximate age 42. They were left alone when their parents -supposedly- died in a car crash. However, later in the show it is discovered that the mother is still living. She was rescued and cared for by her three sons. The father, however, did not survive the car crash. They stayed confined in their farm house where they depended greatly upon their own resources such as water, heat, and electricity. The house that was said to have been built during the civil war was run-down, rickety, and filled with dusty junk. There wasn’t a lawn, it was mostly dirt where they farmed pigs and kept old run- down cars. For transportation, they drove an old convertible Cadillac. Instead of the mother being the nurturing one who took care of the family it was the other way around. The sons were responsible for taking care of the mother.
Although the stereotypical American Dream is ideal, I believe that the Peacocks managed to relate to the vision in their own way. To me the American Dream is striving for success. Their vision of success happened to be continuing the Peacock legacy. Their concept of the American Dream was doing anything, literally ANYTHING for their family. They’d kill, care for, and run for their family. From the most gruesome acts of inbreeding to doing the most honorable as to dying for one another. This family proves that everyone’s American Dream isn’t picture-perfect with a white picket fence,
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