Publication Date

1985

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of English

LCSH

Altman, Robert, 1925-||Fraud||Motion pictures--United States--Plots, themes, etc

Abstract

This thesis explores the theme of fraudulence in Robert Altman's Nashville. The study focuses on the characters as they perpetuate fraudulence in the film by manipulating or being manipulated by other people in order to achieve what their society values most: stardom and publicity. To illustrate their function as either frauds or authentic individuals, the twenty-four characters have been divided into four groups. The first group, the "manipulators," consists of Hal Phillip Walker, Triplette, Reese, and Barnett. These frauds manipulate and deceive the Nashville populace for the selfish end of achieving publicity. The second category, the "media stars," consists of Haven Hamilton, Barbara Jean, Connie White, Tommy Brown, Tom, and to a degree, Bill and Mary. These characters are frauds because they exhibit, not authentic identities, but illusionary, media-generated archetypal personalities that the "satellites" (the third group) strive to emulate. Satellites Sueleen Gay, Albuquerque, Star, Opal, Lady Pearl, Bud, Norman, Tricycle Man, Private Kelly, and L. A. Joan are all frauds in that they derive a sense of purpose and identity by revolving around the stars or other objects of desire, and often sacrifice their identities and principles in order to be accepted or to become more like those stars. The final category is the "outsiders," consisting of Mr. Greene, Wade, Linnea, and Kenny. These four are the only "authentic" and "genuine" individuals in the film; they do not disguise themselves in order to deceive or manipulate others, and they possess a definite sense of identity and do not compromise it to attain publicity. Through the depiction of fraudulence in Nashville's characters, Altman makes an insightful cultural statement about the values of Bicentennial America. He portrays a land where mendacious people place an inordinate amount of importance on the glossy but empty illusion of fame, but that land also contains individuals who remain honest and grounded by more authentic and human values.

Comments

Bibliography: pages 112-113.

Extent

iv, 113 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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