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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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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Down and Out: A Novel

Down and Out: A Novel

Date: May 2015
Creator: Briseño, J. Andrew
Description: A creative dissertation consisting of two parts: a novel and a critical preface. The critical preface, titled “Novel without Falsehood” deals directly with David Shields’s Reality Hunger, touching on issues of reality as it pertains to truth, writing, fiction, and contemporary culture. The novel is entitled Down and Out and follows the fortunes of a small town in Arkansas before, during, and after its sole source of employment ceases to exist.
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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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Edmund Spenser as Protestant Thinker and Poet : A Study of Protestantism and Culture in The Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser as Protestant Thinker and Poet : A Study of Protestantism and Culture in The Faerie Queene

Date: August 1993
Creator: Kim, Hoyoung
Description: The study inquires into the dynamic relationship between Protestantism and culture in The Faerie Oueene. The American Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr makes penetrating analyses of the relationship between man's cultural potentials and the insights of Protestant Christianity which greatly illuminate how Spenser searches for a comprehensive religious, ethical, political, and social vision for the Christian community of Protestant England. But Spenser maintains the tension between culture and Christianity to the end, refusing to offer a merely coherent system of principles based on the doctrine of Christianity.
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Quest for the Father

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Quest for the Father

Date: December 1996
Creator: Yegenoglu, Dilara
Description: This dissertation explores Elizabeth Barrett's dependency on the archetypal Victorian patriarch. Chapter I focuses on the psychological effects of this father-daughter relationship on Elizabeth Barrett. Chapter II addresses Barrett's acceptance of the conventional female role, which is suggested by the nature and the situation of the women she chooses to depict. These women are placed in situations where they can reveal their devotion to family, their capacity for passive endurance, and their wish to resist. Almost always, they choose death as an alternative to life where a powerful father figure is present. Chapter III concentrates on the highly sentimental images of women and children whom Barrett places in a divine order, where they exist untouched by the concerns of the social order of which they are a part. Chapter IV shows that the conventional ideologies of the time, society's commitment to the "angel in the house," and the small number of female role models before her increase her difficulty to find herself a place within this order. Chapter V discusses Aurora Leigh's mission to find herself an identity and to maintain the connection with her father or father substitute. Despite Elizabeth Barrett's desire to break away from her paternal ties ...
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The Elusive Mother in William Faulkner's Major Yoknapatawpha Families

The Elusive Mother in William Faulkner's Major Yoknapatawpha Families

Date: May 1995
Creator: Bunnell, Phyllis Ann
Description: Families in much of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fiction are built upon traditional patriarchal structure with the father as head and provider and the mother or mother figure in charge of keeping the home and raising the children. Even though the roles appear to be clearly defined and observed, the families decline and disintegrate.
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Ethics in Technical Communication: Historical Context for the Human Radiation Experiments

Ethics in Technical Communication: Historical Context for the Human Radiation Experiments

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Audrain, Susan Connor
Description: To illustrate the intersection of ethical language and ethical frameworks within technical communication, this dissertation analyzes the history and documentation of the human radiation experiments of the 1940s through the 1970s. Research propositions included clarifying the link between medical documentation and technical communication by reviewing the literature that links the two disciplines from the ancient period to the present; establishing an appropriate historiography for the human radiation experiments by providing a context of the military, political, medical, and rhetorical milieu of the 1940s to the 1970s; closely examining and analyzing actual human radiation experiment documentation, including proposals, letters, memos, and consent forms, looking for established rhetorical constructions that indicate a document adheres to or diverts from specific ethical frameworks; and suggesting the importance of the human radiation documents for studying ethics in technical communication. Close rhetorical analysis of the documents included with this project reveals consistent patterns of metadiscourse, passive and nominal writing styles, and other rhetorical constructions, including negative language, redundancies, hedges, and intensifiers, that could lead a reader to misunderstand the writer's original ethical purpose. Ultimately this project finds that technical communicators cannot classify language itself as ethical or unethical; the language is simply the framework with which ...
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Everything and Nothing at the Same Time

Everything and Nothing at the Same Time

Date: May 1999
Creator: Ballenger, Hank D.
Description: This paradoxically titled collection of poems explores what the blues and blindness has come to mean to the author.
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The Evolution of AIDS as Subject Matter in Select American Dramas

The Evolution of AIDS as Subject Matter in Select American Dramas

Date: August 2000
Creator: Sorrells, David J.
Description: Dramatic works from America with AIDS as subject matter have evolved over the past twenty years. In the early 1980s, dramas like Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, William Hoffman's As Is, and Robert Chesley's Night Sweat educated primarily homosexual men about AIDS, its causes, and its effects on the gay community while combating the dominant discourse promoted by the media, government, and medical establishments that AIDS was either unimportant because it affected primarily the homosexual population or because it was attributed to lack of personal responsibility. By the mid-eighties and early nineties, playwrights Terrence McNally (Love! Valour! Compassion!)and Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey)concentrated on relationships between sero-discordant homosexual couples. McNally's "Andre's Mother" and Lips Together, Teeth Apart explored how families and friends face the loss of a loved one to AIDS. Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America epic represents living beyond AIDS as a powerful force. Without change and progress, Angels warns, life stagnates. Angels also introduces the powerful drugs that help alleviate the symptoms of AIDS. AIDS is the centerpiece of the epic, and AIDS and homosexuality are inextricably blended in the play. Rent, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical by Jonathan Larson, features characters from an assortment of ethnic and social ...
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The Evolution of Survival as Theme in Contemporary Native American Literature: from Alienation to Laughter

The Evolution of Survival as Theme in Contemporary Native American Literature: from Alienation to Laughter

Date: December 1994
Creator: Schein, Marie-Madeleine
Description: With the publication of his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, House Made of Dawn. N. Scott Momaday ended a three-decade hiatus in the production of works written by Native American writers, and contributed to the renaissance of a rich literature. The critical acclaim that the novel received helped to establish Native American literature as a legitimate addition to American literature at large and inspired other Native Americans to write. Contemporary Native American literature from 1969 to 1974 focuses on the themes of the alienated mixed-blood protagonist and his struggle to survive, and the progressive return to a forgotten or rejected Indian identity. For example, works such as Leslie Silko's Ceremony and James Welch's Winter in the Blood illustrate this dual focal point. As a result, scholarly attention on these works has focused on the theme of struggle to the extent that Native American literature can be perceived as necessarily presenting victimized characters. Yet, Native American literature is essentially a literature of survival and continuance, and not a literature of defeat. New writers such as Louise Erdrich, Hanay Geiogamah, and Simon Ortiz write to celebrate their Indian heritage and the survival of their people, even though they still use the themes of ...
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Fanny Fern: A Social Critic in Nineteenth-Century America

Fanny Fern: A Social Critic in Nineteenth-Century America

Date: August 1995
Creator: Tongra-ar, Rapin
Description: This dissertation explores Fanny Fern's literary position and her role as a social critic of American lives and attitudes in the nineteenth-century. A reexamination of Fern's literary and non-literary works sheds light on her firm stand for the betterment of all mankind. The diversity and multiplicity of Fern's social criticism and her social reform attitudes, evident in Ruth Hall. Rose Clark, and in voluminous newspaper articles, not only prove her concern for society's well-being, but also reflect her development of and commitment to her writing career.
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Female Inheritors of Hawthorne's New England Literary Tradition

Female Inheritors of Hawthorne's New England Literary Tradition

Date: August 1994
Creator: Adams, Dana W. (Dana Wills)
Description: Nineteenth-century women were a mainstay in the New England literary tradition, both as readers and authors. Indeed, women were a large part of a growing reading public, a public that distanced itself from Puritanism and developed an appetite for novels and magazine short stories. It was a culture that survived in spite of patriarchal domination of the female in social and literary status. This dissertation is a study of selected works from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman that show their fiction as a protest against a patriarchal society. The premise of this study is based on analyzing these works from a protest (not necessarily a feminist) view, which leads to these conclusions: rejection of the male suitor and of marriage was a protest against patriarchal institutions that purposely restricted females from realizing their potential. Furthermore, it is often the case that industrialism and abuses of male authority in selected works by Jewett and Freeman are symbols of male-driven forces that oppose the autonomy of the female. Thus my argument is that protest fiction of the nineteenth century quietly promulgates an agenda of independence for the female. It is an agenda that encourages the woman to ...
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The Feminine Ancestral Footsteps: Symbolic Language Between Women in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

The Feminine Ancestral Footsteps: Symbolic Language Between Women in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

Date: December 2006
Creator: Serrano, Gabriela
Description: This study examines Hawthorne's use of symbols, particularly flowers, in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Romantic ideals stressed the full development of the self¬reliant individual, and romantic writers such as Hawthorne believed the individual would fully develop not only spiritually, but also intellectually by taking instruction from the natural world. Hawthorne's heroines reach their full potential as independent women in two steps: they first work together to defeat powerful patriarchies, and they then learn to read natural symbols to cultivate their artistic sensibilities which lead them to a full development of their intellect and spirituality. The focus of this study is Hawthorne's narrative strategy; how the author uses symbols as a language his heroines use to communicate from one generation to the next. In The Scarlet Letter, for instance, the symbol of a rose connects three generations of feminine reformers, Ann Hutchinson, Hester Prynne, and Pearl. By the end of the novel, Pearl interprets a rose as a symbol of her maternal line, which links her back to Ann Hutchinson. Similarly in The House of the Seven Gables Alice, Hepzibah, and Phoebe Pyncheon are part of a family line of women who work together to ...
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The Fictional World of Rolando Hinojosa

The Fictional World of Rolando Hinojosa

Date: August 1993
Creator: Lee, Joyce Glover
Description: Rolando Hinojosa's Klail Citv Death Trip Series purports to give a picture of life in the Texas Rio Grande Valley from roughly the 1930s to the present. Much of Hinojosa's attention is directed toward the tensions that characterize relations between the mexicano and Anglo cultures. Hinojosa's novel sequence in large part documents the ever-increasing acculturation and assimilation of the mexicano into Anglo society.
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Fictionalized Indian English Speech and the Representations of Ideology in Indian Novels in English

Fictionalized Indian English Speech and the Representations of Ideology in Indian Novels in English

Date: August 2009
Creator: Muthiah, Kalaivahni
Description: I investigate the spoken dialogue of four Indian novels in English: Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable (1935), Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan (1956), Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan's The World of Nagaraj (1990), and Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters (2002). Roger Fowler has said that literature, as a form of discourse, articulates ideology; it is through linguistic criticism (combination of literary criticism and linguistic analyses) that the ideologies in a literary text are uncovered. Shobhana Chelliah in her study of Indian novels in English concludes that the authors use Indian English (IndE) as a device to characterize buffoons and villains. Drawing upon Fowler's and Chelliah's framework, my investigation employs linguistic criticism of the four novels to expose the ideologies reflected in the use of fictionalized English in the Indian context. A quantitative inquiry based on thirty-five IndE features reveals that the authors appropriate these features, either to a greater or lesser degree, to almost all their characters, suggesting that IndE functions as the mainstream variety in these novels and creating an illusion that the authors are merely representing the characters' unique Indian worldviews. But within this dialect range, the appropriation of higher percentages of IndE features to specific characters or groups of characters reveal ...
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The Fifth Humor: Ink, Texts, and the Early Modern Body

The Fifth Humor: Ink, Texts, and the Early Modern Body

Date: December 2012
Creator: Polster, Kristen Kayem
Description: This dissertation tracks the intimate relationship between writing and the body to add new dimensions to humoral criticism and textual studies of Renaissance literature. Most humor theory focuses on the volatile, permeable nature of the body, and its vulnerability to environmental stimuli, neglecting the important role that written texts play in this economy of fluids. I apply the principles of humor theory to the study of handwritten and printed texts. This approach demonstrates that the textual economy of the period—reading, writing, publishing, exchanging letters, performing all of the above on stage—mirrors the economy of fluids that governed the humoral body. Early modern readers and writers could imagine textual activities not only as cerebral, abstract concepts, but also as sexual activities, as processes of ingestion and regurgitation. My study of ink combines humoral, historical materialist, and ecocritical modes of study. Materialist critics have examined the quill, paper, and printing press as metaphors for the body; however, the ink within them remains unexamined. This dissertation infuses the figurative body of the press with circulating passions, and brings to bear the natural, biochemical properties that ink lends to the texts it creates. Considering the influence of written and printed materials on the body ...
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"For the Ruined Body"

"For the Ruined Body"

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Date: May 2016
Creator: Dorris, Kara Delene
Description: This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, "Self-Elegy as Self-Creation Myth," which discusses the self-elegy, a subgenre of the contemporary American elegy; and Part II, For the Ruined Body, a collection of poems. Traditionally elegies are responses to death, but modern and contemporary self-elegies question the kinds of death, responding to metaphorical not literal deaths. One category of elegy is the self-elegy, which turns inward, focusing on loss rather than death, mourning aspects of the self that are left behind, forgotten, or aspects that never existed. Both prospective and retrospective, self-elegies allow the self to be reinvented in the face of loss; they mourn past versions of selves as transient representations of moments in time. Self-elegies pursue the knowledge that the selves we create are fleeting and flawed, like our bodies. However by acknowledging painful self-truths, speakers in self-elegies exert agency; they participate in their own creation myths, actively interpreting and incorporating experiences into their identity by performing dreamlike scenarios and sustaining an intimate, but self-critical, voice in order to: one, imagine an alternate self to create distance and investigate the evolution of self-identity, employing hindsight and self-criticism to offer advice; two, reinterpret the past and its role in creating ...
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Friendship, Politics, and the Literary Imagination: the Impact of Franklin Pierce on Hawthorne's Works

Friendship, Politics, and the Literary Imagination: the Impact of Franklin Pierce on Hawthorne's Works

Date: August 1996
Creator: Williamson, Richard Joseph, 1962-
Description: This dissertation attempts to demonstrate how Nathaniel Hawthorne's lifelong friendship with Franklin Pierce influenced the author's literary imagination, often prompting him to transform Pierce from his historical personage into a romanticized figure of notably Jacksonian qualities. It is also an assessment of how Hawthorne's friendship with Pierce profoundly influenced a wide range of his work, from his first novel, Fanshawe (1828), to the Life of Franklin Pierce (1852) and such later works as the unfinished Septimius romances and the dedicatory materials in Our Old Home (1863). This dissertation shows how Pierce became for Hawthorne a literary device—an icon of Jacksonian virtue, a token of the Democratic party, and an emblem of steadfastness, military heroism, and integrity, all three of which were often at odds with Pierce's historical character. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Hawthorne-Pierce friendship. The chapter also assesses biographical reconstructions of Pierce's character and life. Chapter 2 addresses Hawthorne's years at Bowdoin College, his introduction to Pierce, and his early socialization. Chapter 3 demonstrates how Hawthorne transformed his Bowdoin experience into formulaic Gothic narrative in his first novel, Fanshawe. Chapter 4 discusses the influence of the Hawthorne-Pierce friendship on the Life of Franklin Pierce, Hawthorne's campaign biography ...
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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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The Gender of Time in the Eighteenth-century English Novel

The Gender of Time in the Eighteenth-century English Novel

Date: December 1998
Creator: Leissner, Debra Holt
Description: This study takes a structuralist approach to the development of the novel, arguing that eighteenth-century writers build progressive narrative by rendering abstract, then conflating, literary theories of gendered time that originate in the Renaissance with seventeenth-century scientific theories of motion. I argue that writers from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century generate and regulate progress-as-product in their narratives through gendered constructions of time that corresponded to the generation and regulation of economic, political, and social progress brought about by developing capitalism.
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Gender, Power, and Language in Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Gender, Power, and Language in Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Date: August 1995
Creator: Hawkins, Emma B.
Description: Many Old English poems reflect the Anglo-Saxon writers's interest in who could exercise power and how language could be used to signal a position of power or powerlessness. In previous Old English studies, the prevailing critical attitude has been to associate the exercise of power with sex—the distinction between males and females based upon biological and physiological differences—or with sex-oriented social roles or sphere of operation. Scholarship of the last twenty years has just begun to explore the connection between power and gender-coded traits, attributes which initially were tied to the heroic code and were primarily male-oriented. By the eighth and ninth centuries, the period in which most of the extant Old English poetry was probably composed, these qualities had become disassociated from biological sex but retained their gender affiliations. A re-examination of "The Dream of the Rood," "The Wanderer," "The Husband's Message," "The Wife's Lament," "Wulf and Eadwacer" and Beowulf confirms that the poets used gender-coded language to indicate which poetic characters, female as well as male, held positions of power and powerlessness. A status of power or powerlessness was signalled by the exercise of particular gendered traits that were open for assumption by men and women. Powerful individuals ...
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