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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Critical Response to Philosophical Ideas in Walker Percy's Novels

The Critical Response to Philosophical Ideas in Walker Percy's Novels

Date: December 1985
Creator: Gunter, Elizabeth Ellington, 1942-
Description: Walker Percy differs from other American novelists in that he started writing fiction relatively late in life, after being trained as a physician and after considerable reading and writing in philosophy. Although critics have appreciated Percy's skills as a writer, they have seen Percy above all as a novelist of ideas, and, accordingly, the majority of critical articles and books about Percy has dealt with his themes, especially his philosophical themes, as well as with his philosophical sources. This study explores, therefore, the critical response to philosophical ideas in Percy's five novels to date, as evidenced first by reviews, then by the later articles and books. The critical response developed gradually as critics became aware of Percy's aims and pointed out his use of Christian existentialism and his attacks upon Cartesianism, Stoicism, and modern secular gnosticism. These critical evaluations of Percy's philosophical concerns have sometimes overshadowed interest in his more purely artistic concerns. However, the more a reader understands the underlying philosophical concepts that inform Percy's novels, the more he may understand what Percy is trying to say and the more he may appreciate Percy's accomplishment in expressing his philosophical ideas so skillfully in fictional form. Critics and readers may ...
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Damned Good Daughter.

Damned Good Daughter.

Date: May 2003
Creator: Yeatts, Karen Rachel
Description: My dissertation is a memoir based on my childhood experiences growing up with a mentally ill mother. She exhibited violence both passive and aggressive, and the memoir explores my relationship with her and my relationship with the world through her. "Damned Good Daughter" developed with my interest in creative nonfiction as a genre. I came to it after studying poetry, discovering that creative nonfiction offers a form that accommodates both the lyric impulse in poetry and the shaping impulse of story in fiction. In addition, the genre makes a place for the first person I in relation to the order and meaning of a life story. Using reverse chronology, my story begins with the present and regresses toward childhood, revealing the way life experiences with a mentally ill parent build on one another.
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Dark Houses: Navigating Space and Negotiating Silence in the Novels of Faulkner, Warren and Morrison

Dark Houses: Navigating Space and Negotiating Silence in the Novels of Faulkner, Warren and Morrison

Date: December 2000
Creator: Berger, Aimee E.
Description: Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," as early as 1839, reveals an uneasiness about the space of the house. Most literary scholars accept that this anxiety exists and causes some tension, since it seems antithetical to another dominant motif, that of the power of place and the home as sanctuary. My critical persona, like Poe's narrator in "The House of Usher," looks into a dark, silent tarn and shudders to see in it not only the reflection of the House of Usher, but perhaps the whole of what is "Southern" in Southern Literature. Many characters who inhabit the worlds of Southern stories also inhabit houses that, like the House of Usher, are built on the faulty foundation of an ideological system that divides the world into inside(r)/outside(r) and along numerous other binary lines. The task of constructing the self in spaces that house such ideologies poses a challenge to the characters in the works under consideration in this study, and their success in doing so is dependant on their ability to speak authentically in the language of silence and to dwell instead of to just inhabit interior spaces. In my reading of Faulkner and Warren, this ideology of ...
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Death and the Concept of Woman's Value in the Novels of Jane Austen

Death and the Concept of Woman's Value in the Novels of Jane Austen

Date: December 1996
Creator: Moring, Meg Montgomery, 1961-
Description: Jane Austen sprinkles deaths throughout her novels as plot devices and character indicators, but she does not tackle death directly. Yet death pervades her novels, in a subtle yet brutal way, in the lives of her female characters. Austen reveals that death was the definition and the destiny of women; it was the driving force behind the social and economic constructs that ruled the eighteenth-century woman's life, manifested in language, literature, religion, art, and even in a woman's doubts about herself. In Northanger Abbey Catherine Morland discovers that women, like female characters in gothic texts, are written and rewritten by the men whose language dominates them. Catherine herself becomes an example of real gothic when she is silenced and her spirit murdered by Henry Tilney. Marianne Dashwood barely escapes the powerful male constructs of language and literature in Sense and Sensibility. Marianne finds that the literal, maternal, wordless language of women counts for nothing in the social world, where patriarchal,figurative language rules, and in her attempt to channel her literal language into the social language of sensibility, she is placed in a position of more deadly nothingness, cast by society as a scorned woman and expected to die. Fanny Price ...
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The Decline of the Country-House Poem in England: A Study in the History of Ideas

The Decline of the Country-House Poem in England: A Study in the History of Ideas

Date: August 1988
Creator: Harris, Candice R. (Candice Rae)
Description: This study discusses the evolution of the English country-house poem from its inception by Ben Jonson in "To Penshurst" to the present. It shows that in addition to stylistic and thematic borrowings primarily from Horace and Martial, traditional English values associated with the great hall and comitatus ideal helped define features of the English country-house poem, to which Jonson added the metonymical use of architecture. In the Jonsonian country-house poem, the country estate, exemplified by Penshurst, is a microcosm of the ideal English social organization characterized by interdependence, simplicity, service, hospitality, and balance between the active and contemplative life. Those poems which depart from the Jonsonian ideal are characterized by disequilibrium between the active and contemplative life, resulting in the predominance of artifice, subordination of nature, and isolation of art from the community, as exemplified by Thomas Carew's "To Saxham" and Richard Lovelace's "Amyntor's Grove." Architectural features of the English country house are examined to explain the absence of the Jonsonian country-house poem in the eighteenth century. The building tradition praised by Jonson gradually gave way to aesthetic considerations fostered by the professional architect and Palladian architecture, architectural patronage by the middle class, and change in identity of the country ...
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Derivation: Excerpts From a Novel

Derivation: Excerpts From a Novel

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis, Matthew
Description: The dissertation consists of a critical preface and excerpts from the novel Derivation. The preface details how the novel Derivation explores the tension between the artist and the academy in the university, as well as the role memory plays in the construction of fictional narratives. The preface also details how narrative voice is used to expand the scope of Derivation, and ends with a discussion of masculine tropes in the novel. Derivation traces the path of a woman trying to rebuild her life in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, returning first to her blue collar roots before pursuing a career as an academic.
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Detecting Masculinity: The Positive Masculine Qualities of Fictional Detectives.

Detecting Masculinity: The Positive Masculine Qualities of Fictional Detectives.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Griswold, Amy Herring
Description: Detective fiction highlights those qualities of masculinity that are most valuable to a contemporary culture. In mysteries a cultural context is more thoroughly revealed than in any other genre of literature. Through the crimes, an audience can understand not only the fears of a particular society but also the level of calumny that society assigns to a crime. As each generation has needed a particular set of qualities in its defense, so the detective has provided them. Through the detective's response to particular crimes, the reader can learn the delineation of forgivable and unforgivable acts. These detectives illustrate positive masculinity, proving that fiction has more uses than mere entertainment. In this paper, I trace four detectives, each from a different era. Sherlock Holmes lives to solve problems. His primary function is to solve a riddle. Lord Peter Wimsey takes on the moral question of why anyone should detect at all. His stories involve the difficulty of justifying putting oneself in the morally superior position of judge. The Mike Hammer stories treat the difficulty of dealing with criminals who use the law to protect themselves. They have perverted the protections of society, and Hammer must find a way to bring them ...
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Dickens in the Context of Victorian Culture: an Interpretation of Three of Dickens's Novels from the Viewpoint of Darwinian Nature

Dickens in the Context of Victorian Culture: an Interpretation of Three of Dickens's Novels from the Viewpoint of Darwinian Nature

Date: August 1996
Creator: Moon, Sangwha
Description: The worlds of Dickens's novels and of Darwin's science reveal striking similarity in spite of their involvement in different areas. The similarity comes from the fact that they shared the ethos of Victorian society: laissez-faire capitalism. In The Origin of Species, which was published on 1859, Charles Darwin theorizes that nature has evolved through the rules of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and the struggle for existence. Although his conclusion comes from the scientific evidence that was acquired from his five-year voyage, it is clear that Dawinian nature is reflected in cruel Victorian capitalism. Three novels of Charles Dickens which were published around 1859, Bleak House, Hard Times, and Our Mutual Friend, share Darwinian aspects in their fictional worlds. In Bleak House, the central image, the Court of Chancery as the background of the novel, resembles Darwinian nature which is anti-Platonic in essence. The characters in Hard Times are divided into two groups: the winners and the losers in the arena of survival. The winners survive in Coketown, and the losers disappear from the city. The rules controlling the fates of Coketown people are the same as the rules of Darwinian nature. Our Mutual Friend can be interpreted as ...
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Dirty Jokes and Fairy Tales: David Mamet and the Narrative Capability of Film

Dirty Jokes and Fairy Tales: David Mamet and the Narrative Capability of Film

Date: May 1997
Creator: Haspel, Jane Seay
Description: David Mamet is best known as a playwright, but he also has a thriving film career, both as screenwriter and as director. He has taken very seriously each of these roles, formulating theories that, he suggests, account for the creative choices he makes. Though Mamet sometimes contradicts himself, as when he suggests that viewers should have the satisfaction of constructing their own meaning of a work, but at the same time is devoted to montage, which works by juxtaposing images that lead to a single interpretation, he clearly sees the story as a critical avenue into the spectator's unconscious, where he hopes it will resonate with a truth that speaks directly to the individual. His films House of Games, Things Change, and Homicide clearly reflect his ideas on the best ways of conveying a story on film. In House of Games, Mamet draws on Bruno Bettelheim's theories to construct a fairy tale designed to act on adult viewers in the same way that fairy tales act on the child. In Things Change, he creates a fable that explores issues of friendship and honor within the milieu of the gangster genre. And in Homicide, Mamet uses the expectations viewers bring to ...
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The Disfigured Muse : Supreme Readers in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

The Disfigured Muse : Supreme Readers in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

Date: August 1993
Creator: Hobbs, Michael B. (Michael Boyd)
Description: In "Discourse in the Novel," Mikhail Bakhtin tells us that "Every discourse presupposes a special conception of the listener, of his apperceptive background and the degree of his responsiveness." My study of Wallace Stevens's poetry examines Stevens's "conception of the listener"—in the form of his intratextual readers, their responsiveness, and the shapes that responsiveness takes—and attempts to formulate out of that examination Stevens's theory of reading embodied in his canon of poems.
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