O'Gara, Kellen E. “An Apocalypse of Change”, Boston College, 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/1189.
This paper analyzes the reconstruction of the American identity through the lens of two post-modern films: Paul Haggis’ Crash and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. First, the role of 9/11 on the resurgence of trauma culture and its catalytic effect on the start of the post-modern era is examined. This analysis argues that these films unite American citizens through the central notion of humanity that mankind ultimately shares. This is achieved through the framework of three central themes: the elimination of the typified other, the restoration of faith in mankind and the human condition, and the uniting sense of touch. The construction of these themes reconciles the ambiguity and uncertainty inherent in all aspects of the post-modern era. These films serve as metaphorical narrative vehicles and function to draw the American people back into a sense of a universal, national identity in the wake of September 11. In addition, they foster reassurance in the American spirit and ensure the ability of the United States to initiate collective recovery after periods of intense national trauma.