I have to admit, I had also never seen this classic film. It’s the epitome of the American Dream—a true story of triumph through hard work. There were many ideas in the film about who can make it in America and why. Part of the myth of the American Dream is that we have stories of success to point to. In order to keep believing in it, we need to see examples that America is full of opportunities for those who work hard enough.
I was struck by the connections between the fight between Apollo Creed and Rocky and the American Dream. To me, Creed was the representation of the United States of America. At first when Creed and his managers are discussing who he will fight, they choose the Italian Stallion because he “believes in the American dream and is going to give an unknown a shot at the title.” On the most basic level, this represents how American dream portrays this country as a land of opportunities. Rocky starts preparing for the fight—training and working very hard. To get a chance at the American dream, one must work very hard and overcome obstacles. Finally, we get to the fight. Creed comes out in lavish, overdone costumes depicting the classic American icons George Washington and Uncle Sam while Rocky dawns a simple robe with an advertisement for Paulie’s meat company on the back. What’s shown next is a very altered version, more modern version of the American Dream. The fight is absolutely brutal. Apollo, literally dressed in the American flag, beats Rocky intensely but he refuses to give up. He’s in it for the fight no matter how bruised and battered he is. Against all odds and all expectations, he goes the distance. Just because the American Dream may not be a reality doesn’t mean that people around the nation aren’t working hard to desperately make it, to have a chance at the fight.