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 Degree Discipline: English
The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: an Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism

The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: an Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism

Date: May 1999
Creator: Wu, John Guo Qiang
Description: "The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: An Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism" traces a secular mode of thinking of American moral superiority and the gospel of success to its religious origins. The study shows that while the basis for American moral superiority derives from the typological correspondence between sacred history and American experience, the gospel of success results from the Puritan preoccupation with work as a virtue instead of a necessity because labor improves one's lot in this world while securing salvation in the next. By explaining how Puritanism begins as a rejection of worldliness but ends as an orgy of materialism, my study raises and addresses the paradoxical nature of the Puritan legacy: Why should the Puritan work ethic, when subverted by its logical conclusion---the gospel of success, result in the undoing of Puritan spirituality in its mission of redeeming the Old World? Furthermore, this inquiry examines the role Puritanism plays in creating the mythologies of America as the New World Garden, the white man as the American Adam, the black man as the American Ham, and the white woman as the American Eve. In the Puritan use of biblical typology, blacks and women function as the white ...
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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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Religion and Politics in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats

Religion and Politics in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats

Date: August 1997
Creator: Yoo, Baekyun
Description: Previous critics have paid insufficient attention to the political implications of Yeats's life-long preoccupation with a wide range of Western and Eastern religious traditions. Though he always preserved some skepticism about mysticism's ability to reshape the material world, the early Yeats valued the mystical idea of oneness in part because he hoped (mistakenly, as it turned out) that such oneness would bring Catholic and Protestant Ireland together in a way that might make the goals of Irish nationalism easier to accomplish. Yeats's celebration of mystical oneness does not reflect a pseudo-fascistic commitment to a static, oppressive unity. Like most mystics—and most modernists—Yeats conceived of both religious and political oneness not as a final end but rather as an ongoing process, a "way of happening" (as Auden put it).
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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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W. B. Yeats's "The Cap and Bells": Its Sources in Occultism

W. B. Yeats's "The Cap and Bells": Its Sources in Occultism

Date: May 1995
Creator: Saylor, Lawrence (Lawrence Emory)
Description: While it may seem that "The Cap and Bells" finds its primary source in Yeats's love for Maud Gonne, the poem is also symbolic of his search for truth in occultism. In the 1880s and 90s Yeats coupled his reading of Shelley with a formal study of magic in the Golden Dawn, and the poem is a blend of Shelleyan and occult influences. The essay explores the Shelleyan/occult motif of death and rebirth through examining the poem's relation to the rituals, teachings, and symbols of the Golden Dawn. The essay examines the poem's relation to the Cabalistic Tree of Life, the Hanged Man of the Tarot, two Golden Dawn diagrams on the Garden of Eden, and the concept of Kundalini.
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Idea of Natural Law in Milton's Comus and Paradise Lost

Idea of Natural Law in Milton's Comus and Paradise Lost

Date: May 1998
Creator: Koo, Youngwhoe
Description: This dissertation tries to locate Milton's optimistic view of man and nature as expressed in Comus, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, and Paradise Lost in the long tradition of natural law that goes back to Aristotle, Cicero, and Aquinas.
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Theories of Relativity

Theories of Relativity

Date: August 1999
Creator: Mercer, Rebekah M.
Description: Theories of Relativity is a post-modern novella that questions the authority of truth. Multiple perspectives are utilized in the narrative to recount how the murder of a young girl has affected the tragedy's survivors. The focus of the narrative is not to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused, but to show how perspective influences our perception of truth. Eighteen pages of prefatory remarks comprise the body of an essay that explores the parameters of truth.
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The Woman in the Box is Smiling

The Woman in the Box is Smiling

Date: December 1998
Creator: Santiesteban, Vicky Lee
Description: The Woman in the Box is Smiling is a collection of poems, prose poems, short-short stories, and short stories. The introduction is a personal essay which discusses form as a device used to gain control over subject matter.
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American Literary Pragmatism : Lighting Out for the Territory

American Literary Pragmatism : Lighting Out for the Territory

Date: August 1998
Creator: England, Peter S. (Peter Shands)
Description: This thesis discusses pragmatist philosophy in the nineteenth century and its effect on American literature of the time.
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Unearthing the Spiritual Message in Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire

Unearthing the Spiritual Message in Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire

Date: August 1998
Creator: Jacobs, Pamela
Description: Unearthing Edward Abbey's spiritual philosophy is not an easy task. One must sift through Abbey's humor, sort through Cactus Ed's flamboyant character, look under the veneer of this character, and beyond Abbey's overt objective of convincing readers to defy the destruction of wilderness, and only then does the spiritual philosophy of Abbey become visible. To understand his perception of spirituality, one must define what constitutes a mystic and determine what American theological philosophies mystics tend to adopt. Once these are defined, one can apply those principles to Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and determine that Abbey is a nature mystic who adheres to the ecocentric based immanence theology. This theology is contrary to the Judeo-Christian based emanation theology which supports anthropocentricism and resourcism.
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