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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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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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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"Distance" and Other Stories

"Distance" and Other Stories

Date: August 2004
Creator: Drummond-Mathews, Angela
Description: "Distance" and Other Stories is a collection of four short stories and a novella that explore the themes of isolation and personal revelation. The dissertation opens with a preface which describes my background as a writer and the forces that shape my work, including science fiction, technology and the internet, cultural marginalization, and Joseph Campbell's hero's motif.
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Distorted Traditions: the Use of the Grotesque in the Short Fiction of Eudora Welty, Carson Mccullers, Flannery O'connor, and Bobbie Ann Mason.

Distorted Traditions: the Use of the Grotesque in the Short Fiction of Eudora Welty, Carson Mccullers, Flannery O'connor, and Bobbie Ann Mason.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Marion, Carol A.v
Description: This dissertation argues that the four writers named above use the grotesque to illustrate the increasingly peculiar consequences of the assault of modernity on traditional Southern culture. The basic conflict between the views of Bakhtin and Kayser provides the foundation for defining the grotesque herein, and Geoffrey Harpham's concept of "margins" helps to define interior and exterior areas for the discussion. Chapter 1 lays a foundation for why the South is different from other regions of America, emphasizing the influences of Anglo-Saxon culture and traditions brought to these shores by the English gentlemen who settled the earliest tidewater colonies as well as the later influx of Scots-Irish immigrants (the Celtic-Southern thesis) who settled the Piedmont and mountain regions. This chapter also notes that part of the South's peculiarity derives from the cultural conflicts inherent between these two groups. Chapters 2 through 5 analyze selected short fiction from each of these respective authors and offer readings that explain how the grotesque relates to the drastic social changes taking place over the half-century represented by these authors. Chapter 6 offers an evaluation of how and why such traditions might be preserved. The overall argument suggests that traditional Southern culture grows out of ...
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The Dostoevskyan Dialectic in Selected North American Literary Works

The Dostoevskyan Dialectic in Selected North American Literary Works

Date: December 1995
Creator: Smith, James Gregory
Description: This study is an examination of the rhetorical concept of the dialectic as it is realized in selected works of North American dystopian literature. The dialectic is one of the main factors in curtailing enlightenment rationalism which, taken to an extreme, would deny man freedom while claiming to bestow freedom upon him. The focus of this dissertation is on an analysis of twentieth-century dystopias and the dialectic of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor parable which is a precursor to dystopian literature. The Grand Inquisitor parable of The Brothers Karamazov is a blueprint for dystopian states delineated in anti-utopian fiction. Also, Dostoevsky's parable constitutes a powerful dialectical struggle between polar opposites which are presented in the following twentieth-century dystopias: Zamiatin's Me, Bradbury's Farenheit 451, Vonnegut's Player Piano, and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The dialectic in the dystopian genre presents a give and take between the opposites of faith and doubt, liberty and slavery, and it often presents the individual of the anti-utopian state with a choice. When presented with the dialectic, then, the individual is presented with the capacity to make a real choice; therefore, he is presented with a hope for salvation in the totalitarian dystopias of modern twentieth-century literature.
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East, West, Somewhere in the Middle

East, West, Somewhere in the Middle

Date: December 1997
Creator: Behlen, Shawn Lee
Description: A work of creative fiction in novella form, this dissertation follows the first-person travails of Mitch Zeller, a 26-year-old gay man who is faced with an unexpected choice. The dissertation opens with a preface which examines the form of the novella and the content of this particular work.
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