What do all these texts have in common, aside from the obvious?
- American Psycho (1991)
- American History X (1998)
- American Beauty (1999)
- American Pie (1999)
- American Idiot (2004)
- American Horror Story (2011)
- American Sniper (2014)
This specification of the nationality, or national-ness, of all these nouns is not replicated by/in British titles, as far as I can gather (although I am ready to be corrected). What are the possible explanations for this proliferation, which, I might add (rather needlessly, as you will have already begun immediately to think of other examples) is indicative rather than exhaustive…?
Questions to consider:
- Is such titling about audience? It will not be ‘relevant’ unless specified from the outset, perhaps?
- Is it a reference to the infamous American Dream, or revealing in some way that all these texts are rewriting this ‘dream’, often as nightmare?
- Is it a symptom of the relative ‘newness’ of American-ness? That this nationality requires constant bolstering and support, otherwise the narrative wobbles, or is it a sense of wobble, or threat, that in fact produces this need for national overstatement?