Aged Young Adults: Age Readings of Contemporary American Novels and Films

Aged Young Adults: Age Readings of Contemporary American Novels and Films

by Anita Wohlmann

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Overview

Aged Young Adults: Age Readings of Contemporary American Novels and Films by Anita Wohlmann

When Toula's father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding says to his daughter (age 30) "you look so old" or when Don DeLillo's protagonist (age 28) "feels old" in Cosmopolis, these young characters are attributed an age awareness that has received little attention in age studies so far. Leaving aside chronological or biological dimensions of age, this study approaches age as a metaphoric practice, suggesting that "feeling old" is not to be taken literally but metaphorically. The book examines the cultural meanings of age and aging and challenges often-quoted labels such as late-coming-of-age story or perpetual adolescence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783837624830
Publisher: Transcript Verlag
Publication date: 05/28/2014
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Anita Wohlmann (Dr.) is from the American Studies department at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Her research interests include age studies, North American literature, film and culture studies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction 13

1 Age and Aging in Theory and Practice 37

1.1 Positions in Age Studies 37

1.2 Age as a Metaphoric Practice 63

1.3 Method: Defining the Age Reading 72

2 Conflicts of Timing 79

2.1 Joel Zwick's My Big Fat Greek Wedding 79

2.2 Ageism and the Disciplinary Functions of Age Discourses 91

2.3 Sam Mendes' Away We Go 101

3 Living Across the Life Course 113

3.1 Shifting Meanings of Adulthood: Perpetual Adolescence and Delayed Adulthood 113

3.2 Tom Perrotta's Little Children 122

3.3 Normativity and the Life Course 144

3.4 Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections 157

4 Mental Health and Age 175

4.1 Positive Thinking and Entrepreneurial Selves 175

4.2 Benjamin Kunkel's Indecision 186

4.3 Consumer Cycles, Obsolescence, and (Im)Mortality 200

4.4 Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis 209

5 Positive Age Metaphors: Miranda July's The Future and It Chooses You 231

Conclusion 251

List of Figures 259

List of Works Cited 261

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