How is the tension between individual and community identified or addressed in representations of the modern American City? Choose one or two texts.
In American cities today, community does not appear to be an important aspect of everyday life. As society has changed, so too has the emphasis that we put upon the sense of community and interaction. In today's Manhattan, there is a preconception that the city cannot provide community for its inhabitants. It is seen as a cold and hostile city, where each person must fend for his/herself. The only community within the city that we see represented in film, literature and television are bleak interpretations, where those in need, danger or merely lonely come together to make up a new community that offers a way out of the loneliness. They are largely the poorer districts of the city, and nearly always have problems with drug addiction. This essay will explore this idea in great detail, and draw conclusions from the evidence of a lack of a positive image of community in New York City.
In recent years, more and more films have been made that depict New York in
this way. In particular, Herbert Selby Jnr has written two very useful books in
this area, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Requiem for a Dream. Both have been
made into feature films. The films construct a beneficial representation of the
community within the novels, as they allow the audience to see what kind of
place he is creating in his stories. Whilst a novel allows the reader to create
place he is creating in his stories. Whilst a novel allows the reader to create
an image in his/her own psyche, in order to look at the form of unity and the
creation of community that this essay is discussing, celluloid images show us
one clear image, which we can then work with. As Selby himself composed
the screenplays of the films, we can see exactly the images that he wanted to


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