Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Olson, Eric Lars Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-05172011-113805 Title Great Expectations: The Role of Myth in 1980s Films with Child Heroes Degree Master of Arts Department Communication Studies Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Waggenspack, Beth M. Committee Chair Howell, Buddy W. Committee Member Prince, Stephen R. Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2011-05-03 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study performed a mythic analysis on three films with child heroes including
E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial, Stand by Me, and The Goonies. Several unifying themes
were extracted and then compared with the dominant values of Reagan America to
determine if these films provided a unique cultural outlook. While most of the uncovered
themes have been recognized in other films of the era, the theme of childhood as a
community in peril is unique. It is purported these films pass judgment on Reagan as a
dubious national patriarch, and that it is possible that this is a function that many myths
with child heroes fulfill.
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