The American Dream: Dexter vs. Breaking Bad The concept of the American Dream has been around us since the foundation of America and is largely what forms it. This ideal embraces fundamental freedoms that are endowed to each person. It strives for freedom, opportunity, and entrepreneurship for all people. Two television series that incorporate this principle are Dexter and Breaking Bad. Dexter focuses on a blood splatter analyst named Dexter who works to find clues/evidence in crime scenes by day, and secretly is a vigilante serial killer by night.
Breaking Bad encompasses a chemistry teacher named Walter White who finds out that he has contracted lung cancer and must find a way to pay for his medical bills. Given his expertise with chemical properties, he decides to cook and sell the illegal and hazardous drug, methamphetamine. Both television shows Breaking Bad and Dexter criticize and portray ideals of the American Dream in their sophisticated plots and character portrayals. A large aspect of the American Dream is to ‘dream big. With both series, this concept is definitely represented well.
In both circumstances, the protagonists in each show must cover p their devious ways to fit in and not be noticed by their surroundings. Walter does this by confining himself to his meth lab when he gets the free time in order to cook with his partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman. Dexter has to mask his acts of murder as well during his nighttime raids where he stalks his next malevolent victim. The average person Just looking at Dexter and Walter from a general standpoint would not have a clue as to what their side Jobs are.
It is for this reason that the two shows do such worthy Jobs of depicting the characters as underdogs with lifestyles that would go unseen by most individuals. The family life and its significance is another key component to look at in both of the series. The concept of a strong family is a vital part of the American Dream. Both Dexter and Walter must support their families’ needs and remain in good standing as fathers of their house. In both shows, the chemistry between the families lack greatly and thus successfully criticize that part of the American Dream.
Walter must provide for his family while enduring the unfortunate hardship of his progressing lung cancer. Although he does end up providing enough money, Skylar, his wife, demands a divorce due to his chronic lying bout his whereabouts and his ignorance to his other fatherly demands – socializing with his family and being an exceptional role model. Dexter criticizes the notion of a structured and united family life. This original characteristic usually consisted of a happily married husband and wife that were raising a few children in a white picket fenced house.
This stereotype is definitely combated in Dexter. Although Dexter does have a toddler son named Harrison whom he loves dearly and relates himself with his beginning, Dexter also has relations with numerous women throughout the series. Just a few women he does hook up with are Lila West, Rita Bennett, and Hannah McKay. America has its dark side. It is very apparent to the viewer that both shows do a superb Job at displaying this unfortunate reality.
By doing so, the shows simultaneously mock the stereotypical characteristic of the American Dream ideal that the struggles and In Breaking Bad, there are numerous events that take place that embody this notion, such as the drug cartels that are largely organized under the main distributor, Gustavo Fring. There are many murders that occur as well, such as when Gale Boetticher (another meth. ab partner with Walter) is shot and killed by Jesse Pinkman due to Pinkman fearing that Gale would replace him as a partner of Walter, which would be a large financial disadvantage for Pinkman.
It is no surprise that Dexter provides an abundant share of violence as well. Being centered on a serial killer, what would one expect? Dexter often makes his victims suffer the punishment that he believes they deserve. A prime example of this is when he hunts down and manages to abduct the infamous ‘bathtub killer’ Arthur Mitchell. Dexter chats with Arthur about their beliefs of life and ridicules Arthur for killing innocent victims. Finally, Dexter bludgeons Arthur to death with the back of a hammer to end the scene on a sadistic, yet satisfying note.
The method in which Walter gains his money is a superb example of another criticism of the American Dream ideal. The labor-intensive factory working environment was the original norm of how many Americans in the mid ’50s found themselves in. Walter shatters this stereotype with his frequent seven-fgure drug deals with various clients. Not only does Walter live out this get- rich-quick mentality, but several others, such as Jesse Pinkman, Gustavo Fring, and Gale Boetticher are shown throughout the series to achieve wealth in a similar way – the exchanging of illegal drugs.
Although the American Dream ideal has evolved over time, it is still largely predominant in todays society. The two television series do wonderful Jobs of portraying and criticizing the American Dream. Some of the major characteristics that they target are the importance of family life, the mentality to ‘dream big, and the reality of the ‘dark side’ of America. The relations, portrayals, and criticisms of the American Dream ideal between Dexter and Breaking Bad can be easily deciphered if one Just simply looks for them.
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