Tragedy and Realism in Baltimore: "The Wire"'s Challenge to American Myths

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This paper aims to contrast the social reality of the United States and the classic American mythology of the country in the HBO television series. "The Wire" to make a deep analysis of the American reality. The TV drama has deep conclusions about the American reality in different fields. "The Wire" gives insight into the different institutions shaping the functioning of a city, such as the police department, the unions, the political system, the education system, and the press. These are explored through different characters who participate in these institutions, and/or who suffer oppression at their hands. American mythology has been created throughout different historical moments and is one of the most important factors shaping the United States. Myths such as the American Dream, the City Upon a Hill, American Exceptionalism, the democratization of the education system and Freedom of the Press will appear in this paper. Furthermore, American individualism will appear in contrast with the ideology of Greek Tragedy in "The Wire". The thesis of this essay is that the contrast and the gap between American mythology and American reality are central themes of "The Wire". This paper also addresses both American mythology and American reality, with the purpose of showing a deep contrast between them.