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 Degree Discipline: English
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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The Problematic British Romantic Hero(ine): the Giaour, Mathilda, and Evelina

The Problematic British Romantic Hero(ine): the Giaour, Mathilda, and Evelina

Date: May 1995
Creator: Poston, Craig A. (Craig Alan)
Description: Romantic heroes are questers, according to Harold Bloom and Northrop Frye. Whether employing physical strength or relying on the power of the mind, the traditional Romantic hero invokes questing for some sense of self. Chapter 1 considers this hero-type, but is concerned with defining a non-questing British Romantic hero. The Romantic hero's identity is problematic and established through contrasting narrative versions of the hero. This paper's argument lies in the "inconclusiveness" of the Romantic experience perceived in writings throughout the Romantic period. Romantic inconclusiveness can be found not only in the structure and syntax of the works but in the person with whom the reader is meant to identify or sympathize, the hero(ine). Chapter 2 explores Byron's aesthetics of literature equivocation in The Giaour. This tale is a consciously imbricated text, and Byron's letters show a purposeful complication of the poet's authority concerning the origins of this Turkish Tale. The traditional "Byronic hero," a gloomy, guilt-ridden protagonist, is considered in Chapter 3. Byron's contemporary readers and reviewers were quick to pick up on this aspect of his verse tales, finding in the Giaour, Selim, Conrad, and Lara characteristics of Childe Harold. Yet, Byron's Turkish Tales also reveal a very different ...
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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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Why Orville and Wilbur Built an Airplane

Why Orville and Wilbur Built an Airplane

Date: August 1999
Creator: Jenkinson, John S.
Description: This dissertation comprises two sections. The title section collects a volume of the author's original poetry, subdivided into four parts. The concerns of this section are largely aesthetic, although some of the poems involve issues that emerge in the introductory essay. The introductory essay itself looks at slightly over three centuries of poetry in English, and focuses on three representative poems from three distinct periods: the long eighteenth century and the Romantic period in England, and the Post-war period in the United States. John Dryden's translation of Ovid's "Cinyras and Myrrha," John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," and James Dickey's "The Sheep Child," whatever their stylistic and aesthetic differences may be, all share a concern with taboo. Each of the poems, in its own way, embraces taboo while transgressing societal norms in order to effect a synthesis that merges subject and object in dialectical transcendence. For Dryden, the operative taboo is that placed on incest. In his translation of Ovid, Dryden seizes on the notion of incest as a metaphor for translation itself and views the violation of taboo as fructifying. Keats, in his Nightingale ode, toys with the idea of suicide and reconstructs a world both natural and mythic ...
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"Stately Temples": Consubstantiality and Consciousness in Frances E. W. Harper's Iola Leroy; or Shadows Uplifted

"Stately Temples": Consubstantiality and Consciousness in Frances E. W. Harper's Iola Leroy; or Shadows Uplifted

Date: August 1996
Creator: Louis-Ray, Deborah
Description: The purpose of this master's thesis is to examine Frances Harper's narrative strategy and moral didacticism in Iola Leroy: or Shadows Uplifted (1892) as she strives to achieve consubstantiality and a "heightened consciousness" within her characters and her audience while adhering to the literary and feminist paradigms of the late nineteenth century. Harper identifies with her African-American male audience's dilemma of "double-consciousness" and their veil of androcentrism. She also identifies with her Euro-American female audience's delicate and matriarchal roles, while also attempting to uplift their position of the "Other" to the "One." Finally, with her African-American female audience, Harper identifies with their complex situatedness of "double-consciousness" and the "Other," while also attempting to uplift them from a historically imposed position of selflessness to one of empowerment.
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Women's and Men's Perceptions Regarding Perceived Speaker Sex and Politeness of Given Utterances

Women's and Men's Perceptions Regarding Perceived Speaker Sex and Politeness of Given Utterances

Date: May 1995
Creator: Johnson, Deanna Michelle
Description: Women's and men's responses regarding perceived speaker sex and the politeness of given utterances were examined through the use of a questionnaire administered to 90 people, 45 men and 45 women. The questionnaire required respondents to rate the politeness of each utterance and label each as being more likely spoken by a man or by a woman. Factors possibly affecting perceptions--such as power, prestige, and the stereotypical conversational structures of both men and women--were addressed through others' research in this area. Additionally, all tested sentences were analyzed in light of linguistic politeness theory regarding on-record and off-record speech. This analysis details each utterance through examining the type of politeness strategy each utterance typifies.
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Revisiting the Grotesque: Poems

Revisiting the Grotesque: Poems

Date: August 1997
Creator: Davidson, Chad (Chad Thomas)
Description: This thesis consists of a group of poems around a central concept: language as a physical dwelling placeā€”a place much like what Raphael discovered in the grottoes of Rome and named "grotesque," or "grotto-esque." Using the word, "grotesque," as an example, the preface illustrates how poetry can play with the lost histories of words while still searching for new referents and associations.
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The Fool-Saint and the Fat Lady: an Exploration of Freaks and Saints in Robertson Davies's The Deptford Trilogy

The Fool-Saint and the Fat Lady: an Exploration of Freaks and Saints in Robertson Davies's The Deptford Trilogy

Date: December 1994
Creator: McClinton, Jennifer A. (Jennifer Anne)
Description: In The Deptford Trilogy, Robertson Davies uses the circus freaks and the Roman Catholic Saints who influence the main characters to illustrate the duality inherent in all human beings.
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Finitness and Verb-Raising in Second Language Acquisition of French by Native Speakers of Moroccan Arabic

Finitness and Verb-Raising in Second Language Acquisition of French by Native Speakers of Moroccan Arabic

Date: August 1996
Creator: Aboutaj, Heidi H. (Heidi Huttar)
Description: In this thesis, the three hypotheses on the nature of early L2 acquisition (the Full Transfer/Full Access view of Schwartz and Sprouse (e.g., 1996), the Minimal Trees view of Vainikka and Young-Scholten (e.g., 1996), and the Valueless Features view of Eubank (e.g., 1996)), are discussed. Analysis of the early French production by two native speakers of Moroccan Arabic is done to determine if the L1 grammar is transferred onto the L2 grammar. In particular, the phenomena of verb-raising (as determined by the verb's position vis-a-vis negation) and finiteness are examined. The results of this study indicate that the relevant structures of Moroccan Arabic do not transfer onto the emerging French grammar.
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Inventions, Dreams, Imitations

Inventions, Dreams, Imitations

Date: August 1997
Creator: Gatlin, Charles Morgan
Description: Eight short selections of fiction. "Inventions" consists of two invented creation myths. The three stories in "Dreams" are fantasy tales set in a common dream-world. The selections in "Imitations" are neither fantasy nor science fiction: "Time's Tapering Blade" is an experiment in form; "The Wake" concerns a group of friends dealing with a death; and "Janie, Hold the Light" is based on stories from the author's family about Christmas during the depression of the 1930's.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries