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Absalom, Absalom! A Study of Structure

Description: The conclusion drawn from this study is that the arrangement of material in Absalom, Absalom! is unified and purposeful. The structure evokes that despair that is the common denominator of mankind. It reveals both the bond between men and the separation of men; and though some of the most dramatic episodes in the novel picture the union of men in brotherly love, most of the material and certainly the arrangement of the material emphasize the estrangement of men. In addition, by juxtaposing chapters, each separated from the others by its own structural and thematic qualities, Faulkner places a burden of interpretation on the reader suggestive of the burden of despair that overwhelms the protagonists of the novel.
Date: August 1973
Creator: Major, Sylvia Beth Bigby

The Abuse of Confidence as a Major Theme in the Novels of Henry James

Description: All of the aforementioned factors--love, money, the abuse of confidence, the guilt growing out of it, the response of the victim--contribute to the moral view constantly evolving towards an ultimate statement in the three novels of James's maturity. This thesis will attempt to explicate in full that statement. For James's theme of abuse of confidence, together with all of its elements, was in itself only the vehicle of a finely attuned moral awareness.
Date: August 1966
Creator: Sullenberger, T. E.

Across Borders and Barlines: Chicana/o Literature, Jazz Improvisation, and Contrapuntal Solidarity

Description: In this study, I examine Chicana/o writings and Black and Brown musical traditions as they entwine in urban centers and inform local visions of inclusion and models of social change. By analyzing literature and music from South Texas, Southern California, and Northeastern Michigan, I detail how the social particularities of each zone inform Chicana/o cultural productions rooted in the promise of empowerment and the possibility of cross-cultural solidarity. I assert that highlighting localized variations on these themes amplifies contrapuntal solidarities specific to each region, the relationship between different, locally conceived conceptions of Chicana/o identity, and the interplay between Brown and Black aesthetic practices in urban centers near national borders. Through literary critical and ethnomusicological frameworks, I engage the rhetorical patterns that link poetry, jazz improvisation, essays, musical playlists, and corridos to illumine a web of discourses helping to establish the idiosyncratic yet complimentary cultural mores that shape localized social imaginaries in the United States.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Leal, Jonathan J.

Active or Passive Voice: Does It Matter?

Description: This thesis reports on the use of active and passive voice in the workplace and classroom through analysis of surveys completed by 37 employees and 66 students. The surveys offered six categories of business writing with ten sets of two sentences each, written in active and passive voice. Participants selected one sentence from each set and gave a reason for each selection. The participants preferred active over passive 47 to 46 percent of opportunities, but they preferred mixed voice over both, 49 percent. The participants preferred active only for memos to supervisors; in the other five categories they preferred passive or mixed voice. Both males and females preferred mixed voice, and age appeared to influence the choices. They cited context as the most common reason for using passive.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Watson, Rose E. (Rose Elliott)

After the Planes

Description: The dissertation consists of a critical preface and a novel. The preface analyzes what it terms “polyvocal” novels, or novels employing multiple points of view, as well as “layered storytelling,” or layers of textuality within novels, such as stories within stories. Specifically, the first part of the preface discusses polyvocality in twenty-first century American novels, while the second part explores layered storytelling in novels responding to World War II or the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The preface analyzes the advantages and difficulties connected to these techniques, as well as their aptitude for reflecting the fractured, disconnected, and subjective nature of the narratives we construct to interpret traumatic experiences. It also acknowledges the necessity—despite its inherent limitations—of using language to engage with this fragmentation and cope with its challenges. The preface uses numerous novels as examples and case studies, and it also explores these concepts and techniques in relation to the process of writing the novel After the Planes. After the Planes depicts multiple generations of a family who utilize storytelling as a means to work through grief, hurt, misunderstanding, and loss—whether from interpersonal conflicts or from war. Against her father’s wishes, a young woman moves in with her nearly-unknown grandfather, struggling to understand the rifts in her family and how they have shaped her own identity. She reads a book sent to her by her father, which turns out to be his story of growing up in the years following World War II. The book was intercepted and emended by her grandfather, who inserts his own commentary throughout, complicating her father’s hopes of reconciliation. The novel moves between two main narratives, one set primarily in 1951 and the other in the days and weeks immediately prior to September 11, 2001.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Boswell, Timothy

AGenesis: A Novel

Description: AGenesis is a novel of "postmortal fiction" set entirely in an afterlife. Nessie, a recently dead woman, accidentally kills an already-dead man, and in the confusion that follows, sets out to discover how he could have died and what after-afterlife he might have gone to. During her travels, she is raped and then help captive by a city of tormented souls; she descends into madness until rescued by children, and she and her newborn but "undead" daughter set out again, this time to find the end of the afterlife. Nessie's daughter eventually seeks a way to enter a living world she's never known, while Nessie tries to end her suffering and find peace.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Snoek-Brown, Samuel Jeremiah

The Agolmirth Conspiracy

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.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Elston, James C. (James Cary)

Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Description: This study explores six utopias by female authors written at the turn of the twentieth century: Mary Bradley Lane's Mizora (1881), Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant's Unveiling Parallel (1893), Eloise O. Richberg's Reinstern (1900), Lena J. Fry's Other Worlds (1905), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915), and Martha Bensley Bruère's Mildred Carver, USA (1919). While the right to vote had become the central, most important point of the movement, women were concerned with many other issues affecting their lives. Positioned within the context of the late nineteenth century women's rights movement, this study examines these "sideline" concerns of the movement such as home and gender-determined spheres, motherhood, work, marriage, independence, and self-sufficiency and relates them to the transforming character of female identity at the time. The study focuses primarily on analyzing the expression of female historical desire through utopian genre and on explicating the contradictory nature of utopian production.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Balic, Iva

American Background in Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha"

Description: The background for "The Song of Hiawatha" is explicitly American, for Longfellow has preserved many legends, traditions, and customs of the aborigines with fidelity. As a whole, "The Song of Hiawatha" is a successful delineation of the aborigines of North America. Longfellow preserved the most interesting legends and supplemented them with accounts of Indian life.
Date: 1940
Creator: Doty, Fern Marie

The American Businessman in the Novels and Stories of Henry James

Description: The critical interest in Henry James and his relationship with the "Gilded Age," or the "golden age of American business," indicates that a chronological study of the American businessman, as this character appears in James's fiction, may have some value. The term businessman in this study will simply be understood to mean a maker of money. To consider in detail all of James's writings would exceed the scope of this study; only those novels and stories which deal most obviously and directly with American businessmen will be included.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Smith, Margaret Hart

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

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.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Long, Kim Martin

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

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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Kisawadkorn, Kriengsak

The American Reception of Jane Austen's Novels from 1800 to 1900

Description: This thesis considers Jane Austen's reception in America from 1800 to 1900 and concludes that her novels were not generally recognized for the first half of the century. In that period, she and her family adversely affected her fame by seeking her obscurity. From mid century to the publication of J.E. Austen-Leigh's Memoir in 1870, appreciation of Austen grew, partly due to the decline of romanticism, and partly due to the focusing of critical theory for fiction, which caused her novels to be valued more highly. From 1870 to 1900 Austen's novels gained popularity. The critics were divided as to those who admired her art, and those who found her novels to be dull.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Wood, Sarah

American Sandwich: West Coast, East Coast, in Between

Description: The thesis begins with an introduction, followed by six short stories. The stories that follow span three or four regions of the American landscape and three or four decades of the twentieth century. What drives each story is the isolation of both narrator and main character (when these are not the same) from the world of the story. In each story, there is either a sense of wanting to belong or an urge to escape, or both. The paradox--also the writer's paradox--is that if one belongs, one has no need to escape; if one escapes, one can never belong.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Clark, Emily A. (Emily Alcorn)

The American Southern Demogogue and His Effect on Personal Associates

Description: The nature of the American Southern demagogue, best exemplified by Huey Pierce Long, is examined. Four novels which are based on Long's life: Sun in Capricorn by Hamilton Basso, Number One by John Dos Passos, A Lion Is in the Streets by Adria Locke Langley and All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren, are used to exemplify literary representations of Long. First the individual personalities of the four demagogue characters are described. Next, the relationships of female associates to the demagogues are examined, then the relationships of male associates to them. The first conclusion is that virtually all associates of a demagogue, whether male or female, are in some manner affected by him. A second conclusion is that All the King's Men provides the best study of a Long-like character; its hero, Willie Stark, may consequently live longer in history than the real Huey Pierce Long.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Allen, Charline