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

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

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 ... continued below

Physical Description

iv, 236 leaves

Creation Information

Long, Kim Martin May 1993.

Context

This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 692 times , with 34 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this dissertation or its content.

Publisher

Rights Holder

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Long, Kim Martin

Provided By

UNT Libraries

With locations on the Denton campus of the University of North Texas and one in Dallas, UNT Libraries serves the school and the community by providing access to physical and online collections; The Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Libraries; academic research, and much, much more.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this dissertation. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Degree Information

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, Benjy's betrayal, and Jason's condemnation. Each of these male writers--Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner--deals with the American dream differently; however, in each case the dream fails because Eve will not go away, refusing to be the Other, the scapegoat, or the muse to man's dreams. These works all deal in some way with the notion of the masculine American dream of perfection in the Garden at the expense of a fully realized feminine presence. This failure of the American dream accounts for the decidedly tragic tone of these culturally significant American novels.

Physical Description

iv, 236 leaves

Language

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this dissertation in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This dissertation is part of the following collection of related materials.

UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

What responsibilities do I have when using this dissertation?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this dissertation.

Creation Date

  • May 1993

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • May 8, 2017, 12:02 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this dissertation last used?

Yesterday: 1
Past 30 days: 34
Total Uses: 692

Interact With This Dissertation

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Long, Kim Martin. The American Eve: Gender, Tragedy, and the American Dream, dissertation, May 1993; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277633/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .