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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 1990-1999
 Degree Discipline: English
The Afro-British Slave Narrative: The Rhetoric of Freedom in the Kairos of Abolition

The Afro-British Slave Narrative: The Rhetoric of Freedom in the Kairos of Abolition

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Date: December 1999
Creator: Evans, Dennis F.
Description: The dissertation argues that the development of the British abolition movement was based on the abolitionists' perception that their actions were kairotic; they attempted to shape their own kairos by taking temporal events and reinterpreting them to construct a kairotic process that led to a perceived fulfillment: abolition. Thus, the dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies used by white abolitionists to construct an abolitionist kairos that was designed to produce salvation for white Britons more than it was to help free blacks. The dissertation especially examines the three major texts produced by black persons living in England during the late eighteenth centuryIgnatius Sancho's Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho (1782), Ottobauh Cugoano's Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1787), and Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789)to illustrate how black rhetoric was appropriated by whites to fulfill their own kairotic desires. By examining the rhetorical strategies employed in both white and black rhetorics, the dissertation illustrates how the abolitionists thought the movement was shaped by, and how they were shaping the movement through, kairotic time. While the dissertation contends that the abolition movement was rhetorically designed to provide redemption, ...
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The Agolmirth Conspiracy

The Agolmirth Conspiracy

Date: December 1996
Creator: Elston, James C. (James Cary)
Description: Written in the tradition of the classic spy novels of Ian Fleming and the detective novels of Raymond Chandler, The Agolmirth Conspiracy represents the return to the thriller of its traditional elements of romanticism, humanism, fast-moving action, and taut suspense, and a move away from its cynicism and dehumanization as currently practiced by authors such as John Le Carre' and Tom Clancy. Stanford Torrance, an ex-cop raised on "old-fashioned" notions of uncompromising good and naked evil and largely ignorant of computer systems and high-tech ordinance, finds himself lost in a "modern" world of shadowy operatives, hidden agendas, and numerous double-crosses. He is nevertheless able to triumph over that world when he puts his own honor, his own dignity, and his very life on the line, proving to himself and to his adversaries that such things can still make things easier to see amid today's swirling moral fog.
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The American Eve: Gender, Tragedy, and the American Dream

The American Eve: Gender, Tragedy, and the American Dream

Date: May 1993
Creator: Long, Kim Martin
Description: America has adopted as its own the Eden myth, which has provided the mythology of the American dream. This New Garden of America, consequently, has been a masculine garden because of its dependence on the myth of the Fall. Implied in the American dream is the idea of a garden without Eve, or at least without Eve's sin, traditionally associated with sexuality. Our canonical literature has reflected these attitudes of devaluing feminine power or making it a negative force: The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and The Sound and the Fury. To recreate the Garden myth, Americans have had to reimagine Eve as the idealized virgin, earth mother and life-giver, or as Adam's loyal helpmeet, the silent figurehead. But Eve resists her new roles: Hester Prynne embellishes her scarlet letter and does not leave Boston; the feminine forces in Moby-Dick defeat the monomaniacal masculinity of Ahab; Miss Watson, the Widow Douglas, and Aunt Sally's threat of civilization chase Huck off to the territory despite the beckoning of the feminine river; Daisy retreats unscathed into her "white palace" after Gatsby's death; and Caddy tours Europe on the arm of a Nazi officer long after Quentin's suicide, ...
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American Grotesque from Nineteenth Century to Modernism: the Latter's Acceptance of the Exceptional

American Grotesque from Nineteenth Century to Modernism: the Latter's Acceptance of the Exceptional

Date: August 1994
Creator: Kisawadkorn, Kriengsak
Description: This dissertation explores a history of the grotesque and its meaning in art and literature along with those of its related term, the arabesque, since their co-existence, specifically in literature, is later treated by a well-known nineteenth-century American writer in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque- Theories or views of the grotesque (used in literature), both in Europe and America, belong to twelve theorists of different eras, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present period, especially Modernism (approximately from 1910 to 1945)--Rabelais, Hegel, Scott, Wright, Hugo, Symonds, Ruskin, Santayana, Kayser, Bakhtin, (William Van) O'Connor, and Spiegel. My study examines the grotesque in American literature, as treated by both nineteenth-century writers--Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, and, significantly, by modernist writers--Anderson, West, and Steinbeck in Northern (or non-Southern) literature; Faulkner, McCullers, and (Flannery) O'Connor in Southern literature. I survey several novels and short stories of these American writers for their grotesqueries in characterization and episodes. The grotesque, as treated by these earlier American writers is often despised, feared, or mistrusted by other characters, but is the opposite in modernist fiction.
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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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Anatomy of Loss

Anatomy of Loss

Date: August 1995
Creator: Behlen, Shawn Lee
Description: Anatomy of Loss contains a foreword, which discusses the place of autobiography in fiction, and five original short stories.
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Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

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Date: August 1999
Creator: Erickson, Stacy M.
Description: In this dissertation, I show how 20th century African-American women writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison utilize animals-as-trope in order to illustrate the writers' humanity and literary vision. In the texts that I have selected, I have found that animals-as-trope functions in two important ways: the first function of animal as trope is a pragmatic one, which serves to express the humanity of African Americans; and the second function of animal tropes in African-American women's fiction is relational and expresses these writers' "ethic of caring" that stems from their folk and womanist world view. Found primarily in slave narratives and in domestic fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries, pragmatic animal metaphors and/or similes provide direct analogies between the treatment of African-Americans and animals. Here, these writers often engage in rhetoric that challenges pro-slavery apologists, who attempted to disprove the humanity of African-Americans by portraying them as animals fit to be enslaved. Animals, therefore, become the metaphor of both the abolitionist and the slavery apologist for all that is not human. The second function of animals-as-trope in the fiction of African-American women writers goes beyond the pragmatic goal of proving African-Americans's common humanity, even ...
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Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Hell: the Rhetoric of Universality in Bessie Head

Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Hell: the Rhetoric of Universality in Bessie Head

Date: May 1998
Creator: Edwards, George, Jr.
Description: This dissertation approaches the work of South African/Botswanan novelist Bessie Head, especially the novel A Question of Power, as positioned within the critical framework of the postcolonial paradigm, the genius of which accommodates both African and African American literature without recourse to racial essentialism. A central problematic of postcolonial literary criticism is the ideological stance postcolonial authors adopt with respect to the ideology of the metropolis, whether on the one hand the stances they adopt are collusive, or on the other oppositional. A key contested concept is that of universality, which has been widely regarded as a witting or unwitting tool of the metropolis, having the effect of denigrating the colonial subject. It is my thesis that Bessie Head, neither entirely collusive nor oppositional, advocates an Africanist universality that paradoxically eliminates the bias implicit in metropolitan universality.
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The Apostasy (and Return) of Lenny Gorsuch

The Apostasy (and Return) of Lenny Gorsuch

Date: August 1998
Creator: Guidici, Guy R.
Description: This comic romantic novel engages the question of how the Christianity of the southern, fundamentalist world of the Texas bible belt, finding its primary cultural assumptions about human existence challenged by the more confusing elements of a modern sensibility, a sensibility over-laden with strange-attractors, mechanistic psychologies, relativistic physics and ethics, evolutionary premises, newly proclaimed rights and freedoms, a deterioration in cultural political naivete, and the advent of an increasingly incomprehensible set of technologies, can survive. The "central" character is a young, slightly deformed man raised by his ostensibly "Christian" grandparents who, through a rather odd set of legal circumstances and physical events, not only become wealthy, but somewhat powerful in their immediate community. He finds himself involved with a young woman, raised in an equally "Christian" household, but, as is true of any romantic plot, the relationship between the two is destined, by virtue of circumstance and the meddling of other characters, to struggle and mishap. In the end, the text, in its own fashion, asserts that the Christian impulse can survive the modern era by virtue of one of its central tenets: faith, in the Christian world, is very much the same as life itself, a process of waiting ...
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The Arrangement of Ezra Pound's Personae (1926) : An Interpretive Application of Editorial and Critical Theory

The Arrangement of Ezra Pound's Personae (1926) : An Interpretive Application of Editorial and Critical Theory

Date: December 1995
Creator: Salchak, Stephen P. (Stephen Patrick)
Description: Pound foregrounded the importance of "shaping" poetic books through particular arrangements of individual poems by using his ideogrammic method as the crucial organizational principle for constructing Personae (1926). Critics have long understood Pound's use of the ideogrammic method in individual poems, but have so far ignored his application of it to the structuring of poetic books and sequences. Lea Baechler and A. Walton Litz, the editors of a 1990 edition of Personae (1926), however, have moved a crucial section of poems, and their rearrangement of the original text both disregards evidence of authorial intention and obscures Pound's innovative principles for arranging his shorter poems into meaningful sequences.
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Asleep in the Arms of God

Asleep in the Arms of God

Date: December 1999
Creator: Clay, Kevin M.
Description: A work of creative fiction in the form of a short novel, Asleep in the Arms of God is a limited-omniscient and omniscient narrative describing the experiences of a man named Wafer Roberts, born in Jack County, Texas, in 1900. The novel spans the years from 1900 to 1925, and moves from the Keechi Valley of North Texas, to Fort Worth and then France during World War One, and back again to the Keechi Valley. The dissertation opens with a preface, which examines the form of the novel, and regional and other aspects of this particular work, especially as they relate to the postmodern concern with fragmentation and conditional identity. Wafer confronts in the novel aspects of his own questionable history, which echo the larger concern with exploitative practices including racism, patriarchy, overplanting and overgrazing, and pollution, which contribute to and climax in the postmodern fragmentation. The novel attempts to make a critique of the exploitative rage of Western civilization.
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Awen, Barddas, and the Age of Blake

Awen, Barddas, and the Age of Blake

Date: May 1997
Creator: Franklin, William Neal
Description: Studies of William Blake's poetry have historically paid little attention to the Welsh literary context of his time, especially the bardic lore (barddas), in spite of the fact that he considered himselfto be a bard and created an epic cosmos in which the bardic had exalted status. Of particular importance is the Welsh concept of the awen, which can be thought of as "the muse," but which must not be limited to the Greek understanding of the term For the Welsh, the awen had to do with the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit, and beyond that, with the poet's connection with his inspiration, or genius, whether Christian of otherwise. This study explores the idea of inspiration as it evolves from the Greek idea of the Muse, as it was perceived in the Middle Ages by Welsh writers, and as it came to be understood and utilized by writers in the Age of Blake.
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"Beowulf": Myth as a Structural and Thematic Key

"Beowulf": Myth as a Structural and Thematic Key

Date: May 1990
Creator: Aitches, Marian A. (Marian Annette)
Description: Very little of the huge corpus of Beowulf criticism has been directed at discovering the function and meaning of myth in the poem. Scholars have noted many mythological elements, but there has never been a satisfactory explanation of the poet's use of this material. A close analysis of Beowulf reveals that myth does, in fact, inform its structure, plot, characters and even imagery. More significant than the poet's use of myth, however, is the way he interlaces the historical and Christian elements with the mythological story to reflect his understanding of the cyclic nature of human existence. The examination in Chapter II of the religious component in eighth-century Anglo-Saxon culture demonstrates that the traditional Germanic religion or mythology was still very much alive. Thus the Beowulf poet was certainly aware of pre-Christian beliefs. Furthermore, he seems to have perceived basic similarities between the old and new religions, and this understanding is reflected in the poem. Chapter III discusses the way in which the characterization of the monsters is enriched by their mythological connotations. Chapter IV demonstrates that the poet also imbued the hero Beowulf with mythological significance. The discussion in Chapter V of themes and type-scenes reveals the origins of ...
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The Blurred Boundaries between Film and Fiction in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and Other Selected Works

The Blurred Boundaries between Film and Fiction in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and Other Selected Works

Date: August 1999
Creator: Quazi, Moumin Manzoor
Description: This dissertation explores the porous boundaries between Salman Rushdie's fiction and the various manifestations of the filmic vision, especially in Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and other selected Rushdie texts. My focus includes a chapter on Midnight's Children, in which I analyze the cinematic qualities of the novel's form, content, and structure. In this chapter I formulate a theory of the post-colonial novel which notes the hybridization of Rushdie's fiction, which process reflects a fragmentation and hybridization in Indian culture. I show how Rushdie's book is unique in its use of the novelization of film. I also argue that Rushdie is a narrative trickster. In my second chapter I analyze the controversial The Satanic Verses. My focus is the vast web of allusions to the film and television industries in the novel. I examine the way Rushdie tropes the "spiritual vision" in cinematic terms, thus shedding new light on the controversy involving the religious aspects of the novel which placed Rushdie on the most renowned hit-list of modern times. I also explore the phenomenon of the dream as a kind of interior cinematic experience. My last chapter explores several other instances in Rushdie's works that are influenced by a filmic ...
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(Broken) Promises

(Broken) Promises

Date: August 1994
Creator: Champion, Laurie, 1959-
Description: The dissertation begins with an introductory chapter that examines the short story cycle as a specific genre, outlines tendencies found in minimalist fiction, and discusses proposed definitions of the short story genre. The introduction examines the problems that short story theorists encounter when they try to.define the short story genre in general. Part of the problem results from the lack of a definition of the short story in the Aristotelian sense of a definition. A looser, less traditional definition of literary genres helps solve some of the problem. Minimalist fiction and the short story cycle are discussed as particular forms of the short story. Sixteen short stories follow the introduction.
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Characteristics of Intensive English Program Directors

Characteristics of Intensive English Program Directors

Date: August 1994
Creator: Atkinson, Tamara D. (Tamara Dawn)
Description: The purpose of this study is to discover if there exists a difference between the perceived roles and functions of intensive English program (IEP) directors and what they actually are. The study is a partial replication of Matthies (1983). A total of 46 subjects participated in a nation-wide survey which asked the respondents to rate the importance of functions and skills in good job performance and in self-assessment of ability. The findings indicated that IEP directors rate the activities associated with administration higher in importance than teaching skills, yet rate themselves better at teaching overall. Additionally, the respondents have more and higher degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics than previously seen by Matthies (1983).
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Charles Dickens and Idiolects of Alienation

Charles Dickens and Idiolects of Alienation

Date: December 1993
Creator: Coats, Jerry B. (Jerry Brian)
Description: A part of Charles Dickens's genius with character is his deftness at creating an appropriate idiolect for each character. Through their discourse, characters reveal not only themselves, but also Dickens's comment on social features that shape their communication style. Three specific idiolects are discussed in this study. First, Dickens demonstrates the pressures that an occupation exerts on Alfred Jingle from Pickwick Papers. Second, Mr. Gradgrind from Hard Times is robbed of his ability to communicate as Dickens highlights the errors of Utilitarianism. Finally, four characters from three novels demonstrate together the principle that social institutions can silence their defenseless constituents. Linguistic evaluation of speech habits illuminates Dickens's message that social structures can injure individuals. In addition, this study reveals the consistent and intuitive narrative art of Dickens.
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Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

Date: May 1999
Creator: Youmans, Karen DeMent
Description: Though much has been made of Chaucer's saintly characters, relatively little has been made of Chaucer's approach to hagiography. While strictly speaking Chaucer produced only one true saint's life (the Second Nun's Tale), he was repeatedly intrigued and challenged by exemplary literature. The few studies of Chaucer's use of hagiography have tended to claim either his complete orthodoxy as hagiographer, or his outright parody of the genre. My study mediates the orthodoxy/parody split by viewing Chaucer as a serious, but self-conscious, hagiographer, one who experimented with the possibilities of exemplary narrative and explored the rhetorical tensions intrinsic to the genre, namely the tensions between transcendence and imminence, reverence and identification, and epideictic deliberative discourse.
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Children and Childhood in Hawthorne's Fiction

Children and Childhood in Hawthorne's Fiction

Date: August 1999
Creator: Sitz, Shirley Ann Ellis
Description: This paper explores the role of children and childhood in Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction. Moreover, it asserts that the child and childhood are keys to a better understanding of Hawthorne's fiction.
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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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Deserts I Have Known

Deserts I Have Known

Date: May 1998
Creator: Kinsey, Saralea
Description: Deserts! Have Known contains a scholarly preface exploring why writers write, examining the characteristics offictionwriters, and addressing the importance of place, both emotional and geographical, in fiction. Four original short stories are included in this thesis. "Miracle at Mita" depicts an aging surfer trying to overcome his fear of commitment. "Coyote Man" explores a father's guilt and the isolation resulting from that guilt. "Time, and Time Again" traces a young woman's fear of marriage to her memory of her parents' relationship, and "Paraplegia" examines a young woman immobilized by her own lack of self-esteem. These stories are connected through their themes of isolation and reconnection.
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Diane Di Prima: The Muffled Voice of the Beat Generation

Diane Di Prima: The Muffled Voice of the Beat Generation

Date: August 1997
Creator: Goggans, Heather
Description: The Beat rejection of conventional values meant a rejection of marriage, family, and a nine-to-five job, and few women were prepared to make that kind of radical shift in a society that condemned women for behaving the way the Beats behaved. Though she has faced difficulty in getting published, Beat writer Diane Di Prima has been publishing steadily for the past forty years. Di Prima has also lived the life of a Beat, wandering the country, avoiding nine-to-five work and supporting herself with grants, teaching and poetry readings. In spite of her success and adherence to the Beat lifestyle, Di Prima has given birth to five children, all of whom she took with her in her travels. Diane Di Prima has always faced the particular challenge of gaining the acceptance of her male peers amid indifference and hatred toward her sex while not allowing these men to go unanswered.
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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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