The figure of the American Adam is a prevalent mythin US cultural history. Defined by R.W.B. Lewis in 1955 as the hero of newadventure . . .an individual standing alone, self-reliant and self-propelling,ready to confront whatever awaited him with the aid of his own unique andinherent resources, the figure is discernable in the American renaissancewriters and in the imagery of the frontiersman, cowboy, gangster as well as inthe heroes of US action movies.

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