Where Lester Burnham Falls Down: Exposing the Facade of Victimhood in American Beauty

@inproceedings{Arthur2004WhereLB,
  title={Where Lester Burnham Falls Down: Exposing the Facade of Victimhood in American Beauty},
  author={Erica D. Arthur},
  year={2004}
}
This article establishes the means by which Lester Burnham, the white, male protagonist in American Beauty, is able to indulge in trangressive and damaging behavior while remaining a sympathetic figure. Through an initial comparison with Falling Down, the victim politics at play in American Beauty are shown to be covert, non confrontational, and contained by the film’s domestic setting. However, close reading exposes the filmic strategies that shape Lester’s claim to victim hood and disguise… CONTINUE READING