UNT Theses and Dissertations - 861 Matching Results

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The Necessity of Movement

Description: This dissertation is a collection of poems preceded by a critical preface. The preface considers emotional immediacy—or the idea of enacting in readers an emotional drama that appears genuine and simultaneous with the speaker's experience—and furthermore argues against the common criticism that accessibility means simplicity, ultimately reifying the importance of accessibility in contemporary poetry. The preface is divided into an introduction and three sections, each of which explores a different technique for creating immediacy, exemplified by Robert Lowell’s "Waking in the Blue,” Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus,” and Louise Gluck's "Eros." The first section examines "Waking in the Blue,” and the poem's systematic inflation and deflation of persona as a means of revealing complexity a ambiguity. The second section engages in a close reading of "Lady Lazarus,” arguing that the poem's initially deliberately false erodes into sincerity, creating immediacy. The third section considers the continued importance of persona beyond confessionalism, and argues that in "Eros," it is the apparent lack of drama, and the focus on the cognitive process, that facilitates emotional immediacy.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Allen, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries

Somebody Else’s Second Chance

Description: Charles Baxter, in his essay “Dysfunctional Narratives: or: ‘Mistakes Were Made,’” implies that all trauma narrative is synonymous with “dysfunctional narrative,” or narrative that leaves all characters unaccountable. He writes: “In such fiction, people and events are often accused of turning the protagonist into the kind of person the protagonist is, usually an unhappy person. That’s the whole story. When blame has been assigned, the story is over.” For Baxter, trauma narrative lets everyone “off the hook,” so to speak. He would say that we write about our bitter lemonade to make excuses for our poor choices, and “audiences of fellow victims” read our tales, because their lemonade and their choices carry equal bitterness, and they require equal excuses. While trauma narrative can soothe us, as can other narrative genres, we should not dismiss trauma fiction because of a sweeping generalization. Trauma fiction also allows us to explore the missing parts of our autobiographical narratives and to explore the effects of trauma—two endeavors not fully possible without fiction. As explained in more detail later, the human mind requires narrative to formulate an identity. Trauma disrupts this process, because “trauma does not lie in the possession of the individual, to be recounted at will, but rather acts as a haunting or possessive influence which not only insistently and intrusively returns but is, moreover, experienced for the first time only in its belated repetition.” Because literature can speak what “theory cannot say,” we need fiction to speak in otherwise silent spaces. Fiction allows us to express, analyze, and comprehend what we could not otherwise.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Heiden, Elishia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recklessness and Light

Description: This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, which discusses the methods and means by which poets achieve originality within ekphrastic works; and Part II, Recklessness and Light, a collection of poems. Poets who seek to write ekphrastically are faced with a particular challenge: they must credibly and substantially build on the pieces of art they are writing about. Poems that fail to achieve invention become mere translations. A successful ekphrastic poem must in some way achieve originality by using the techniques of the artist to credibly and substantially build on the art. The preface discusses three ekphrastic poems: W.H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts,” John Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in Convex Mirror,” and Larry Levis’ “Caravaggio: Swirl and Vortex.” In order to invent, each of these poets connects time within the paintings to time within the poem. The poets turn to techniques such as imprinting of historical context, conflation, and stranging of perspective to connect their work with the paintings. I examine these methods of generating ekphrastic poems in order to evaluate how these poets have responded to one another and to consider emerging patterns of ekphrastic poetry in the twentieth century.
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Date: August 2014
Creator: McCord, Kyle, 1984-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Elizabeth Bishop in Brasil: An Ongoing Acculturation

Description: Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979), one of the foremost modern American poets, lived in Brasil during seventeen-odd years beginning in 1951. During this time she composed the poetry collection Questions of Travel, stand-alone poems, and fragments as well as prose pieces and translations. This study builds on the work of critics such as Brett Millier and Lorrie Goldensohn who have covered Bishop’s poetry during her Brasil years. However, most American critics have lacked expertise in both Brasilian culture and the Portuguese language that influenced Bishop’s poetry. Since 2000, in contrast, Brasilian critic Paulo Henriques Britto has explored issues of translating Bishop’s poetry into Portuguese, while Maria Lúcia Martins and Regina Przybycien have examined Bishop’s Brasil poems from a Brasilian perspective. However, American and Brasilian scholars have yet to recognize Bishop’s journey of acculturation as displayed through her poetry chronologically or the importance of her belated reception by Brasilian literary and popular culture. This study argues that Bishop’s Brasil poetry reveals her gradual transformation from a tourist outsider to a cultural insider through her encounters with Brasilian history, culture, language, and politics. It encompasses Bishop’s published and unpublished Brasil poetry, including drafts from the Elizabeth Bishop Papers at Vassar College. On a secondary level, this study examines a reverse acculturation in how Brasilian popular and literary communities have increasingly focused on Bishop since her death, culminating in the 2013 film, Flores Raras (Reaching for the Moon in English). Understanding this extremely rare and sustained intercultural junction of Bishop in Brasil, a junction that no American poet has made since, adds a crucial angle to twentieth-first century transnational literary perspectives.
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Date: August 2014
Creator: Neely, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Stealing Dreams" and Other Stories

Description: The critical preface, "Learning to Break the Rules" discusses workshop rules as guidelines, as well as how and why I learned to break them. The creative portion of this thesis is made up of eight short stories: "The Many Incarnations of Blazer Chief," "Anna's Monsters," "The Pecan Tree's Daughter," "When the Seas Emptied," "The Umbrella Thief," "How to Forget," "Fracture," and "Stealing Dreams."
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Matthews, Elise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Satire on American Life as Portrayed in the Novels of Sinclair Lewis

Description: Since 1920, Lewis has written only novels in which he has ridiculed the leading phases of American life. He has given an exact picture; he has left no faults uncovered. He loves America and he hates to see her in a state of degeneration. He has tried to appeal to the human side of his public in order to open the eyes of America to her own defects. He has been cynical, satirical, and humorous in his attempt to picture America as she really is. I have chosen the novels that Lewis has written since the year 1920 to show that he has satirized America in her various phases of life. I have not explored the fields of poetry and drama nor the earlier novels; for beginning with Main Street in 1920 and ending with the Prodigal Parents in 1938, Lewis has depicted the faults of a nation struggling for peace and security in a world of materialistic ideals.
Date: August 1940
Creator: Norman, Helen Marjorie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contemporary Women Poets of Texas

Description: As a teacher of American literature in high school, I have become conscious of the importance of teaching students of that age level the lore and poetry of their native state. Poems of nature or local color in their own country will hold their interest when material from more distant points seems dull and uninteresting. Through my teaching I have become interested in the poetry of the Southwest and have enjoyed reading the poetry and knowing the poets through personal interview or correspondence.
Date: August 1942
Creator: Heatly, Katherine Stafford
Partner: UNT Libraries

Repetitions in the Most Popular Works of Mark Twain

Description: This paper is a study of the repetitions in the works of Mark Twain.The author has chosen repetitions which are most nearly alike and most representative of Mark Twain. The study was limited to repetitions of his own experiences repeated in his works, to repetitions of descriptions of the beautiful and the horrible, and to repetitions which are a result of his humor and a desire to save man from himself.
Date: August 1949
Creator: Chambers, Nettie Jackson
Partner: UNT Libraries

Persons and Places in Mark Twain's Fiction

Description: This paper focuses on Mark Twain's writing style and characterization in his fiction. The settings and characters of his fiction are in particular focus, specifically how Mark Twain draws on personal experiences and memories to make his characters and settings more relatable and realistic. A brief biography of Twain's life is given before the author goes into the specifics of characterization and settings.
Date: May 1947
Creator: Sherman, Elizabeth P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structural and Thematic Development in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Description: In dealing with the individual works, I have attempted to analyze the structural element first, and then to deduce the novel's meaning, or theme, making use, wherever it is possible, of the results of the analysis of structure. In addition, I have attempted to reveal the development of certain themes from one novel to another, and certain developments in characterization and general design. I have attempted to reveal the relationship of the structure and thematic aspects of the individual works to Fizgerald's work as a whole. Finally, I have attempted to demonstrate Fitzgerald's relationship with certain of this peers and forebears in the American novel.
Date: August 1948
Creator: Burks, Sidney L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Plots from Greek Tragedy in Twentieth Century Drama

Description: In so far as I have been able to determine, nothing by way of general criticism or comment has previously been written on the subject of Greek plots in twentieth century tragedy, although individual writers have themselves admitted a certain indebtedness to their sources, and comments regarding the specific plays which I have cited, of course, mention a Greek origin. As regards the whole field of contemporary drama, however, I believe that no treaties earlier than this one has discussed the prevalence of Greek plots among twentieth century dramas.
Date: August 1937
Creator: Talley, Eva Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recent Interpretations of Iago

Description: A study of the character of Iago from Shakespeare's Othello. Traces the trends of interpretations, schools of thought, and major influences in interpretations of Iago as manifested in a survey of the writings of Shakespearean critics of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. The emphasis of the study shall be on twentieth-century criticism, with possible established patterns of interpretation and their relation to or deviation from the patterns of the two previous centuries.
Date: August 1954
Creator: Pankhurst, Martha Nell
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Faithful Wife Motif in Elizabethan Drama

Description: The major purpose of this thesis is to present a discussion of the motif of the faithful wife as it appears in the domestic drama of the Elizabethan Age; in addition, an account of the literary history of the theme will be given, in order that the use made of the story in Elizabethan drama may be correctly evaluated.
Date: August 1953
Creator: Sayles, Elizabeth Miller
Partner: UNT Libraries

First-Person Narration in Edgar Allan Poe's Tales

Description: For the purpose of this study, Poe's tales were read and considered carefully in chronological order, the idea being to discover growth and development. Poe's literary career was relatively brief (1832-1849), and there are no dramatic or definite breaks or periods. Though his production shows growth in sophistication and artistry, it has been deemed more instructive to group Poets first-person narrators according to the part they play in the story, that is, (1) main actor or protagonist, (2) minor character, (3) observers and (4) combinations of the foregoing three. An attempt will be made to note both variation and pattern, and hence artistic skill, in Poe Is handling of each particular type of narrator.
Date: January 1968
Creator: Bost, Wallace Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Fugitive Kind in the Major Plays of Tennessee Williams

Description: What basic similarities are found in all the fugitives? First of all, they are fugitives in the sense that they are wanderers. While not necessarily running to or from some specific thing, the fugitives nonetheless are men who travel; they are men who only face their conflicts directly when they attempt to stop traveling either by changing themselves so that they will fit in (Val in Orpheus Descending and Chance), by changing their environment so that it will accept them (Val in Battle of Angels and Shannon), or by searching for something that is permanently lost (Kilroy).
Date: January 1968
Creator: Gunter, John O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Treatment of Women in the Restoration Comedy of Manners

Description: Reflecting the real beau monde of Restoration London, the treatment of women in the comedy of manners was the best and most unusual characteristic of this dramatic type. With the first gay reaction against the past, the independent ladies demanded complete equality with men; intellectually, they gained that equality. To the gay belles, no less than to the beaux, wit was the passport to society. The truewit had everything; the witwould was social refuse, marked for that worst of all punishment--ridicule.
Date: August 1956
Creator: Brock, Dorothy Sala
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modern Trends in the Interpretation of Falstaff

Description: The different interpretations of the character of Sir John Falstaff have been so controversial that at no time since the presentation of the Henry IV plays have critics been able to agree as to his precise qualities. He has been called the greatest humorous character in all literature by even those critics who have spoken adversely of his other traits. George Bernard Shaw called him "a besotted and disgusting old wretch," an opinion added to those of others who have seen him as a coward, liar, cheat, thief, glutton, and rogue. There is no denying that he is one of the most captivating and controversial of all characters in English literature.
Date: August 1956
Creator: Boswell, Fred Page
Partner: UNT Libraries

Criticism of Swift's "Voyage to the Houyhnhnms," 1958-1965

Description: Bitterness and humor, dogmatism and tolerance, unprofessional negligence and scholarly care characterize recent criticism of Swift's "Voyage to the Houyhnhnms." Many scholars have based their conclusions on the findings of earlier commentators rather than on Swift's work itself. Others have imposed a system of their own upon the fourth voyage, sometimes without regard for incontrovertible evidence against their views. Consequently, these scholars often reveal more about themselves than about Swift and his work. Although only a few really new ideas have been presented since 1958 which help to explain the Dean's motivation and intentions, a number of new interpretations of the fourth voyage of Gulliver's Travels clarify some of Swift's purposes. Generally, recent critics can be divided into three groups: those who believe that the Houyhnhnms are Swift's moral ideal for mankind; those who contend that the Houyhnhnms are not Swift's moral ideal; and those who suggest that Swift's moral ideal for man lay somewhere between the Houyhnhnm and the Yahoo.
Date: August 1966
Creator: Witkowski, Susan Siegrist
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Journalism on Modern American Writing

Description: This paper is an analysis of the relationship between journalism and formal literary usage in America. It is the purpose of this study to define and illustrate characteristics of modern journalese and to make a comparison of standards of correct usage advocated by recent textbooks in English composition and journalism. Particular attention will be given to diction, structure and length of sentences, capitalization, abbreviation, and punctuation. The conclusion will be a brief evaluation of modern journalism, a succinct resume of its impact on modern language and literature, and a simple prediction of future tendencies in journalistic and literary language. And to give a better perspective to the analysis of journalism and American English, the paper begins with a description of the American linguistic heritage.
Date: August 1956
Creator: Estes, Dorothy Southerland
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Women in the Fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Description: While his Transcendentalist contemporaries were expounding their optimistic philosophy of natural goodness, progress, and perfectibility, Hawthorne probed into the human heart, recording the darkest motives of his characters and writing bitter criticism of life. Around him men were declaring that scientific inventions, political organizations, and religious reforms were ushering in a new era; but Hawthorne viewed the new society as a probable continuation of old evils and a manufacturer of new ones. His fiction has been called "an elaborate study of the centrifugal, . . . a dramatization of all those social and psychological forces that lead to disunion, fragmentation, dispersion, incoherence. Critics generally comment on Hawthorne's obsession with guilt. His pessimistic analysis of the mind, his somber outlook on living, and his personal tendency to solitude are frequently credited to his Puritan ancestry; yet as Arvin points out, "He had no more Puritan blood than Emerson and hundreds of other New Englanders of his time: and who will say that they were obsessed with the spectral presence of guilty. One must go beyond Calvinist theology to comprehend the source of guilt that hovers over the pages of his fiction. His religious, moral, educational, and economic background was so typical of his time and locality that one can hardly believe that the nature of his writing or thinking could have been determined by these factors. Indeed, his imperviousness to contemporary influences causes one to look intensely at his personal life in searching for the explanation of the Hawthorne enigma. An important influence on his writing was his prolonged association with women. From his life in a feminine world and his reaction to that world, he devised the major part of his style, themes, and feminine character types. A review of the facts of his biography will establish the nature of ...
Date: August 1956
Creator: Estes, Emory Dolphous, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries