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 Department: Department of English
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

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Date: August 1999
Creator: Erickson, Stacy M.
Description: In this dissertation, I show how 20th century African-American women writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison utilize animals-as-trope in order to illustrate the writers' humanity and literary vision. In the texts that I have selected, I have found that animals-as-trope functions in two important ways: the first function of animal as trope is a pragmatic one, which serves to express the humanity of African Americans; and the second function of animal tropes in African-American women's fiction is relational and expresses these writers' "ethic of caring" that stems from their folk and womanist world view. Found primarily in slave narratives and in domestic fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries, pragmatic animal metaphors and/or similes provide direct analogies between the treatment of African-Americans and animals. Here, these writers often engage in rhetoric that challenges pro-slavery apologists, who attempted to disprove the humanity of African-Americans by portraying them as animals fit to be enslaved. Animals, therefore, become the metaphor of both the abolitionist and the slavery apologist for all that is not human. The second function of animals-as-trope in the fiction of African-American women writers goes beyond the pragmatic goal of proving African-Americans's common humanity, even ...
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The Afro-British Slave Narrative: The Rhetoric of Freedom in the Kairos of Abolition

The Afro-British Slave Narrative: The Rhetoric of Freedom in the Kairos of Abolition

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Date: December 1999
Creator: Evans, Dennis F.
Description: The dissertation argues that the development of the British abolition movement was based on the abolitionists' perception that their actions were kairotic; they attempted to shape their own kairos by taking temporal events and reinterpreting them to construct a kairotic process that led to a perceived fulfillment: abolition. Thus, the dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies used by white abolitionists to construct an abolitionist kairos that was designed to produce salvation for white Britons more than it was to help free blacks. The dissertation especially examines the three major texts produced by black persons living in England during the late eighteenth centuryIgnatius Sancho's Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho (1782), Ottobauh Cugoano's Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1787), and Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789)to illustrate how black rhetoric was appropriated by whites to fulfill their own kairotic desires. By examining the rhetorical strategies employed in both white and black rhetorics, the dissertation illustrates how the abolitionists thought the movement was shaped by, and how they were shaping the movement through, kairotic time. While the dissertation contends that the abolition movement was rhetorically designed to provide redemption, ...
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A Sensory Tour of Cape Cod: Thoreau's Transcendental Journey to Spiritual Renewal

A Sensory Tour of Cape Cod: Thoreau's Transcendental Journey to Spiritual Renewal

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Date: December 1999
Creator: Talley, Sharon
Description: Predominantly darker than his other works, Cape Cod depicts Henry David Thoreau's interpretation of life as a struggle for survival and a search for salvation in a stark New England setting. Representing Thoreau's greatest test of the goodness of God and nature, the book illustrates the centrality of the subject of death to Thoreau's philosophy of life. Contending that Thoreau's journey to the Cape originated from an intensely personal transcendental impulse connected with his brother's death, this study provides the first in-depth examination of Thoreau's use of the five senses in Cape Cod to reveal both the eccentricities inherent in his relationship with nature and his method of resolving his fears of mortality. Some of the sense impressions in Cape Cod--particularly those that center around human death and those that involve tactile sensations--suggest that Thoreau sometimes tried to master his fears by subconsciously altering painful historical facts or by avoiding the type of sensual contact that aggravated the repressed guilt he suffered from his brother's death. Despite his personal idiosyncrasies, however, Thoreau persisted in his search for truth, and the written record of his journey in Cape Cod documents how his dedication to the transcendental process enabled him to surmount ...
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Wayward Women, Virtuous Violence: Feminine Violence in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature by Women

Wayward Women, Virtuous Violence: Feminine Violence in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature by Women

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Date: May 2000
Creator: Collins, Margo
Description: This dissertation examines the role of "acceptable" feminine violence in Restoration and eighteenth-century drama and fiction. Scenes such as Lady Davers's physical assault on Pamela in Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740) have understandably troubled recent scholars of gender and literature. But critics, for the most part, have been more inclined to discuss women as victims of violence than as agents of violence. I argue that women in the Restoration and eighteenth century often used violence in order to maintain social boundaries, particularly sexual and economic ones, and that writers of the period drew upon this tradition of acceptable feminine violence in order to create the figure of the violent woman as a necessary agent of social control. One such figure is Violenta, the heroine of Delarivier Manley's novella The Wife's Resentment (1720), who murders and dismembers her bigamous husband. At her trial, Violenta is condemned to death "notwithstanding the Pity of the People" and "the Intercession of the Ladies," who believe that although the "unexampled Cruelty [Violenta] committed afterwards on the dead Body" was excessive, the murder itself is not inexcusable given her husband's bigamy. My research draws upon diverse archival materials, such as conduct manuals, criminal biographies, and legal records, ...
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Playing Jonah's Hand: Poems

Playing Jonah's Hand: Poems

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Date: May 2000
Creator: Dyer, Gregory A.
Description: Playing Jonah's Hand: Poems is a collection of poems with a critical introduction. The introduction consists of two independent essays, both of which examine intersections between poetry and Christian theology. In the first essay I identify the imaginative faculty as the primary source of agency for the speaker in John Donne's "Holy Sonnets." Working upon Barbara Lewalski's assertion that these sonnets represent "the Protestant paradigm of salvation in its stark, dramatic, Pauline terms," I consider the role of the imagination in the spiritual transformation represented within the sequence. Donne foregrounds a Calvinistic theology that posits both humanity's total depravity and God's grace and mercy as the only avenue of transcendence. Whatever agency the speaker exhibits is generated by the exercise of his imagination, which leads him to a recognition of his sinfulness and the necessity of God's grace. In the second essay I investigate the presence of a negative theology within "Lachrimae, or Seven Tears Figured in Seven Passionate Pavans," a sonnet sequence by Geoffrey Hill. In this sequence, Hill demonstrates the possibilities that surface through an integration of negative theology with postmodern theories of language, both of which have been influenced by the philosophical writings of Martin Heidegger. The ...
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Sorry Guard

Sorry Guard

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Date: May 2000
Creator: Poch, John
Description: Sorry Guard is a collection of poems with a critical introduction on poetic form. Form in poetry can be revealed vocally (how the poem sounds), temporally (how the poem makes use of time), and spatially (how the poem is visualized, both physically on the page due to typography and imagistically due to the shape and movement of its subject matter). In this preface, I will address these three aspects of form in relation to three distinct twentieth century poets: Robert Hass, W.S. Merwin, and W.H. Auden. I am most interested in how particular formal decisions shape meaning and value in poetry. My aesthetic approach here primarily dwells on what Helen Vendler calls, "the music of what happens." The urgency of Robert Hass's spoken word is important to me because I wish to make poems that should be spoken aloud and remembered. While W.S. Merwin's rejection of punctuation is not my own aesthetic outlook, I strive to achieve through close attention to temporal form the mythic voice of his poemsthe immediacy of his lines and images, especially in his second four books. And Auden's deft use of spatial form is only a small aspect of his remarkable verse. All three poets ...
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Stretched Out On Her Grave: The Evolution of a Perversion

Stretched Out On Her Grave: The Evolution of a Perversion

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Angel-Cann, Lauryn
Description: The word "necrophilia" brings a particular definition readily to mind – that of an act of sexual intercourse with a corpse, probably a female corpse at that. But the definition of the word did not always have this connotation; quite literally the word means "love of the dead," or "a morbid attraction to death." An examination of nineteenth-century literature reveals a gradual change in relationships between the living and the dead, culminating in the sexualized representation of corpses at the close of the century. The works examined for necrophilic content are: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Mary, A Fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Jewel of Seven Stars.
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Jezebel's Daughters: A Study of Wilkie Collins and His Female Villains

Jezebel's Daughters: A Study of Wilkie Collins and His Female Villains

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Colvin, Trey Vincent
Description: The term "feminist," when applied to Wilkie Collins, implies he was concerned with rectifying the oppression of women in domestic life as well as with promoting equal rights between the sexes. This study explores Collins the "feminist" by analyzing his portrayals of women, particularly his most powerful feminine creations: his villainesses. Although this focus is somewhat limited, it allows for a detailed analysis of the development of Collins's attitudes towards powerful women from the beginning to the end of his career. It examines the relationship between Collins's developing moral attitudes and social beliefs, on the one hand, and the ideas of Victorian feminists such as Josephine Butler and feminist sympathizers such as John Stuart Mill, on the other. This interaction, while never overt, reveals the ambivalence and complexity of Collins's "feminist" attitudes. Of the five novels in this study, Antonina (1850), Basil (1852), Armadale (1866), Jezebel's Daughter (1880), and The Legacy of Cain (1889), only one was published at the zenith of Collins's career in the 1860s. Each of the villainesses in these novels, their ideas and experiences, are crucial to understanding Collins's "feminist" impulses. Looking at them as powerful women who detest domestic oppression, one becomes aware that Collins ...
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Parts of Women

Parts of Women

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Murphy, Maria Christine
Description: Parts of Women contains a scholarly preface that discusses the woman's body both in fiction and in the experience of being a woman writer. The preface is followed by five original short stories. "Parts of Women" is a three-part story composed of three first-person monologues. "Controlled Burn" involves a woman anthropologist who discovers asbestos in her office. "Tango Lessons" is about a middle-aged woman who's always in search of her true self. "Expatriates" concerns a man who enters the lives of his Hare Krishna neighbors, and "Rio" involves a word-struck man in his attempt to form a personal relationship.
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Luke's Mama

Luke's Mama

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Howell, Melissa
Description: A creative nonfiction thesis, Luke's Mama is a memoir of personal essays that explore how the birth of my son has affected the ways that I relate within and interpret different areas of my life. Chapter I, Introduction, identifies personal and ethical concerns involved in telling my story and explores how others have handled similar issues. Chapter II, Family, illustrates how my relationship with my family of origin has changed since I've become a parent and also how my new family and I interact with society. Chapter III, Calling, depicts my struggle in finding a balance between work and family priorities. Chapter IV, Partner, presents a contrast between my relationship with my partner before and after my son's birth. Chapter V, Parent, displays the beginning of my ever-growing relationship with my son and sense of parenthood.
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Home: A Memoir

Home: A Memoir

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Lovell, Bonnie Alice
Description: Home: A Memoir, a creative non-fiction thesis, is a memoir in the form of personal essays, each exploring some aspect of the meaning of home, how my sense of self has been formed by my relationship to home, and the inevitability of leaving home. Chapter I explores the nature of memory and of memoir, their relationship to each other and to truth, and how a writer's voice shapes memoir. Chapter II, “Paternity,” is an attempt to remember my father, resulting in renewed interest in his past and renewed awareness of his legacy. Chapter III, “Home,” is on the surface about my grandparents' house, but is really about my grandmother. Chapter IV, “Dixie,” is about my contradictory feelings for the South, and my eventual acceptance of the South's complexities.
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Anne Brontë's New Women:  Agnes Grey and  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as Precursors of New Woman Fiction

Anne Brontë's New Women: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as Precursors of New Woman Fiction

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Phillips, Jennifer K.
Description: Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were published more than forty years before the appearance of the feminist type that the Victorians called the “New Woman;” yet, both novels contain characteristics of New Woman fiction. By considering how Brontë's novels foreshadow New Woman fiction, the reader of these novels can re-enact the “gentlest” Brontë as an influential feminist whose ideology informed the construction of the radical New Woman. Brontë, like the New Woman writers, incorporated autobiographical dilemmas into her fiction. By using her own experiences as a governess, Brontë constructs Agnes Grey's incongruent social status and a morally corrupt gentry and aristocracy through her depiction of not only Agnes's second employers, the Murrays, but also the morally debauched world that Helen enters upon her marriage to Arthur Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Moreover, Brontë incorporates her observations of Branwell's alcoholism and her own religious beliefs into The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Although Brontë's novels contain autobiographical material, her heroines are fictional constructions that she uses to engage her readers with the woman question. Brontë accomplishes this engagement through her heroines' narrative re-enactments of fictional autobiographical dilemmas. Helen's diary and Agnes's diary-based narrative produce the ...
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When shape becomes a sign: narrative design in creative nonfiction.

When shape becomes a sign: narrative design in creative nonfiction.

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Date: May 2002
Creator: Hale, Bonnie
Description: This thesis consists of a preface and three original short stories. The preface explores the idea that narrative designthe shape or structureof a story may become a literary motif in its own right. The three stories included are creative nonfiction and each employs a distinct modular design. The themes of the stories revolve around personal identity and values; families and marriage; and creative empowerment.
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How to Factor Loss

How to Factor Loss

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Date: May 2002
Creator: Hall, Todd R.
Description: How to Factor Loss is a collection of poems and translations prefaced by a critical paper over Robert Hass's “Meditation at Lagunitas.” The preface, “A Sensuous Theory, A Sensuous Poem,” explores how Hass merges the discourses of theory and poetry to create a poem that hangs suspended between a confidence and an anxiety about language. The poems in this thesis are primarily responses to finitude. The first section turns toward an “other” as a strategy of placating desire and of reaching both inward and outward. The second section explores the potential failures of art as a means of touching objects. The final section acknowledges that finitude is the condition of humankind, and it turns toward a more tender language, one that embraces limitations and is filled with something like faith. The collection is followed by an appendix which contains translations of several poems by René Guy Cadou and Georg Trakl.
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Gender and Desire in Thomas Lovell Beddoes'  The Brides' Tragedy and Death's Jest-Book

Gender and Desire in Thomas Lovell Beddoes' The Brides' Tragedy and Death's Jest-Book

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Date: May 2002
Creator: Rees, Shelley S.
Description: Thomas Lovell Beddoes' female dramatic characters are, for the most part, objectified and static, but these passive women perform a crucial narrative and thematic function in the plays. Alongside the destructive activity of the male characters, they dramatize masculine-feminine unions as idealized and contrived and, thus, unstable. Desire, power and influence, as well as the constrictive aspects of physicality, all become gendered concepts in Beddoes' plays, and socially normative relationships between men and women, including heterosexual courtship and marriage, are scrutinized and found wanting. In The Brides' Tragedy, Floribel and Olivia, the eponymous brides, represent archetypes of innocence, purity, and Romantic nature. Their bridegroom, Hesperus, embodies Romantic masculinity, desiring the feminine and aspiring to androgyny, but ultimately unable to relinquish masculine power. The consequences of Hesperus' attempts to unite with the feminine other are the destruction of that other and of himself, with no hope for the spiritual union in death that the Romantic Hesperus espouses as his ultimate desire. Death's Jest-Book expands upon the theme of male-female incompatibility, presenting heterosexual relationships in the context of triangulated desire. The erotic triangles created by Melveric, Sibylla, and Wolfram and Athulf, Amala, and Adalmar are inherently unstable, because they depend upon the ...
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Reflections of Other/Reflections of Self

Reflections of Other/Reflections of Self

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Date: August 2002
Creator: Bebout, Lee
Description: This Thesis collection contains a critical preface and five stories. The preface, “Reflejos y Reflexiones” (translated: Images and Thoughts), addresses the issues of writing the cultural or gendered Other; these issues include methodology, literary colonialism, a dialogue between works, and creating distance through defamiliarizing the self. “Perennials” is the story of Noemi Tellez, an immigrant to the U.S. who must choose between working and taking care of her family. In “Load Bearing” Luis, the eldest child, faces his family and friends on one of his last days before moving away to college. “La Monarca” deals with Lily's, the youngest daughter, struggle to mediate a place between her friends and her family. In “Reflections in the River,” Arabela, the second youngest, faces the ghost of an unwanted pregnancy and La Llorona. “La Cocina de Su Madre” is the story of Magda, the oldest daughter, and her own teenage girl, Natalia, as they attempt to find themselves in a new town after moving a thousand miles from home.
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The things I left behind

The things I left behind

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Date: August 2002
Creator: Keyes, Laura
Description: This thesis consists of a preface and twenty-one original short stories. The preface examines the differences between creative nonfiction, autobiography, and memoir. The twenty-one interrelated stories included are autobiographical in nature, in some ways memoirs and in some ways creative nonfiction. The over-all theme of the collection explores one character's journey of self-discovery and transformation.
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Metaphors, Myths, and Archetypes: Equal Paradigmatic Functions in Human Cognition?

Metaphors, Myths, and Archetypes: Equal Paradigmatic Functions in Human Cognition?

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Date: December 2002
Creator: Kalpakidis, Charalabos
Description: The overview of contributions to metaphor theory in Chapters 1 and 2, examined in reference to recent scholarship, suggests that the current theory of metaphor derives from long-standing traditions that regard metaphor as a crucial process of cognition. This overview calls to attention the necessity of a closer inspection of previous theories of metaphor. Chapter 3 takes initial steps in synthesizing views of domains of inquiry into cognitive processes of the human mind. It draws from cognitive models developed in linguistics and anthropology, taking into account hypotheses put forth by psychologists like Jung. It sets the stage for an analysis that intends to further understanding of how the East-West dichotomy guides, influences, and expresses cognitive processes. Although linguist George Lakoff denies the existence of a connection between metaphors, myths, and archetypes, Chapter 3 illustrates the possibility of a relationship among these phenomena. By synthesizing theoretical approaches, Chapter 3 initiates the development of a model suitable for the analysis of the East-West dichotomy as exercised in Chapter 4. As purely emergent from bodily experience, however, neither the concept of the East nor the concept of the West can be understood completely. There exist cultural experiences that may, depending on historical and ...
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Divine and the Everyday Devil (Short Stories)

Divine and the Everyday Devil (Short Stories)

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Date: May 2003
Creator: Burks, T. Stephen
Description: Divine and the Everyday Devil contains a scholarly preface that discusses the experiences and literary works that influenced the author's writing with special attention in regards to spirituality and sexuality. The preface is followed by six original short stories. "Evil" is a work addressing a modern conception of evil. "Eschatology" concerns a man facing his own mortality. "The Gospel of Peter" tells the story of a husband grappling with his wife's religious beliefs. "The Mechanics of Projects" relates the experiences of a woman looking for love in Mexico. "The Rocky Normal Show" involves a husband growing apart from his wife and "Mutant: An Origin Story" is about a teenager trying to find his own unique identity.
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The Concept of Dignity in the Early Science Fiction Novels of Kurt Vonnegut.

The Concept of Dignity in the Early Science Fiction Novels of Kurt Vonnegut.

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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dye, Scott Allen
Description: Kurt Vonnegut's early science fiction novels depict societies and characters that, as in the real world, have become callous and downtrodden. These works use supercomputers, aliens, and space travel, often in a comical manner, to demonstrate that the future, unless people change their concepts of humanity, will not be the paradise of advanced technology and human harmony that some may expect. In fact, Vonnegut suggests that the human condition may gradually worsen if people continue to look further and further into the universe for happiness and purpose. To Vonnegut, the key to happiness is dignity, and this key is to be found within ourselves, not without.
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The Pink Papers

The Pink Papers

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Blagg, Caroline
Description: The Pink Papers is a collection of three short stories and a novel in progress consisting of four chapters. Each piece is a work of original fiction. The preface addresses the female writer and the female voice in fiction. "Broken Clock" and "Pink Paper" are the stories of two girls coping with endometriosis. "Normal Capacity" looks at the loss of a dream through the eyes of a first-year law student. The novel in progress, titled Blanchard, OK, is set in a rural farming town in Oklahoma. The novel tells the stories of 24-year-old Robin, her Aunt Paula, and Paula's boyfriend, Sam.
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Stretched Out on Her Grave: Pathological Attitudes Toward Death in British Fiction 1788-1909

Stretched Out on Her Grave: Pathological Attitudes Toward Death in British Fiction 1788-1909

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Angel-Cann, Lauryn
Description: Nineteenth-century British fiction is often dismissed as necrophillic or obsessed with death. While the label of necrophilia is an apt description of the fetishistic representations of dead women prevalent at the end of the century, it is too narrow to fit literature produced earlier in the century. This is not to say that abnormal attitudes toward death are only a feature of the late nineteenth century. In fact, pathological attitudes toward death abound in the literature, but the relationship between the deceased and the survivor is not always sexual in nature. Rather, there is a clear shift in attitudes, from the chaste death fantasy, or attraction to the idea of death, prevalent in Gothic works, to the destructive, stagnant mourning visible in mid-century texts, and culminating in the perverse sexualization of dead women at the turn of the century. This literary shift is most likely attributable to the concurrent changes in attitudes toward sex and death. As sex became more acceptable, more public, via the channels of scientific discourse, death became a less acceptable idea. This “denial of death” is a direct reaction to the religious uncertainties brought about by industrialization. As scientists and industrialists uncovered increasing evidence against a ...
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Middle Men: Establishing Non-Anglo Masculinity in Southwestern Literature

Middle Men: Establishing Non-Anglo Masculinity in Southwestern Literature

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Date: August 2003
Creator: King, Charla
Description: By examining southwestern masculinity from three separate lenses of cultural experience, Mexican American, Native American and female, this thesis aims to acknowledge the blending of masculinities that is taking place in both the fictitious and factual southwest. Long gone are the days when the cowboys chased down the savage Indians or the Mexican bandits. Southwestern literature now focuses on how these different cultures and traditions can re-construct their masculinities in a way that will be beneficial to all. The southwest is a land of borders and liminal spaces between the United States and Mexico, between brown and white, legal and illegal. All of these borders converge here to create the last American frontier. These converging borders also encompass converging traditions, cultures, and genders. By blending the cowboy, the macho, and the warrior, perhaps these Southwestern writers can construct a liminal masculinity more representative of the southwest itself.
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Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde

Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Tucker, Amanda
Description: Critics and audiences alike have neglected the idea of Wilde as a precursor to Beckett. But I contend that a closer look at each writer's aesthetic and philosophic tendencies-for instance, their interest in the fluid nature of self, their understanding of identity as a performance, and their belief in language as both a way in and a way out of stagnancy -will connect them in surprising and highly significant ways. This thesis will focus on the ways in which Wilde prefigures Beckett as a dramatist. Indeed, many of the themes that Beckett, free from the constraints of a censor and from the societal restrictions of Victorian England, unabashedly details in his drama are to be found residing obscurely in Wilde. Understanding Beckett's major dramatic themes and motifs therefore yields new strategies for reading Wilde.
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