UNT Libraries - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

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)

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 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

An Analysis of Angus Wilson's "No Laughing Matter"

Description: This thesis examines Angus Wilson's novels with particular attention to No Laughing Matter, 1967. The introductory overview of Wilson's first five novels and the examination of No Laughing Matter show that all Wilson's novels are concerned with his protagonists' capacity for self-deception and the ways deception limits freedom of choice. In No Laughing Matter six protagonists try to balance self-deception and freedom both in their lives and in the art forms which interest them. The thesis traces the lives of these six as they fail both as artists and as people. Chapter III of the thesis studies the relationship of fantasy to character in the novel. In No Laughing Matter particularly, the characters reflect the loss of liberty when individuals do not exercise their freedom to choose.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Arnold, Gloria Cockerell

An Analysis of the Major Characteristics of American Black Humor Novels

Description: This thesis serves to classify Black Humor as a philosophy, which holds that the world is meaningless and absurd, and as a literary technique. Historical origins are discussed and the idea is related to a reflection of the middle-class syndrome of twentieth century man. Close philosophical and literary relatives are presented and a pure work isn't defined. Black Humor literary characteristics are described in terms of style, theme, plot, setting, chronology, and characteristic ending. Black Humor characters are classified as "non-heroes" divided into four categories. Prevalent use and treatment of traditional forbidden subjects of sex, defecation, money, violence, emotionlessness, religion, death, and "illogical" logic are stressed. In summary, Cat's Cradle is examined in light of the Black Humor characteristics described and found to be other than a pure Black Humor work.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Tyler, Alice Carol

The Angry Charmer

Description: This screenplay, dealing with the theme of anger, is divided into three acts: setup, confrontation and resolution, respectively. Beginning in medias res, flashbacks are employed for expositions of the two main characters, Connor Tracy, alias the Angry Charmer, and Howard Goldberg. Act I opens with Connor at the wheel of a van, driving wildly, Howard accompanying. The setup is established. Act IlI returns to the careening van and then flashbacks to the college meeting of Connor and Howard. By the end of the act, the two, now unwilling relatives, go off on a European trip together. The confrontation has begun in earnest. Act III resolves the problem of Connor's anger through the purgative experi ences of the vacation, in particular the climactic ending.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Wall, Jeffrey R. (Jeffrey Robert)

Ann Radcliffe: A Study in Popular Literary Taste

Description: The purpose of this paper is to determine why Mrs. Radcliffe's gothic novels were popular with contemporary readers. Sources include reviews from eighteenth century periodicals, essays of early nineteenth century critics such as William Hazlitt and studies of her work by twentieth century critics. The thesis is organized in four chapters each of which discusses one aspect of her work which particularly pleased her contemporary reviewers and critics: her invention, her attitude toward superstition, her use of poetic justice, and her outlook on nature. These aspects of her work alone did not secure for her the popularity she enjoyed, but, when combined with her ability to create suspense, helped her become one of the most popular writers of her era.
Date: December 1976
Creator: Freeman, Laurie

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

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.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Edwards, George, Jr.

The Apocalyptic Marriage: Eros and Agape in Keats's The Eve of St. Agnes

Description: This analysis of Keats's poem proffers evidence and arguments to support the contention that The Eve of St. Agnes presents allegorically the poet's speculations regarding the relationship between eros and agape, speculations which include a sharp criticism of Christianity and a model for a new, more "humanistic" system of salvation. The union of Madeline and Porphyro symbolizes the reconciliation of the two opposing types of love in an apocalyptic marriage styled on the Biblical union of Christ and the Church. The irony inherent in the poem arises from Keats's use of Christian myths, symbols, and sacraments to accomplish this purpose.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Gilbreath, Marcia L. (Marcia Lynn)

The Apostasy (and Return) of Lenny Gorsuch

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 and expecting. Its greatest threat, rather than something intrinsic to the modern period, is perhaps that of the dogmatism and misunderstanding of the characters who most loudly proclaim it to others.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Guidici, Guy R.

Appropriating Language on the Usenet

Description: The Usenet is a global computer conferencing system on which users can affix textual messages under 4500 different categories. It currently has approximately 4,165,000 readers, and these .readers have appropriated language by adapting it to the Usenet's culture and medium. This thesis conceptualizes the Usenet community's appropriation of language, provides insights into how media and media restrictions cause their users to appropriate language, and discusses how future media may further cause users to appropriate language. With the Usenet we have a chance to study a relatively new community bound by relatively new technology, and perhaps we can learn more about the appropriation process by studying the two.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Spinuzzi, Clay I. (Clay Ian)

"Be" in Dallas Black English

Description: This dissertation purposes to answer the question of whether or not the verb system of Black English in Dallas has the same features as those that characterize Black English in other sections of the country. Specifically, it describes in detail the use of the verb "be" within the speech of blacks in the Dallas metropolitan area and accounts for these usages formally within the framework of a transformational-generative grammar of the type proposed by Noam Chomsky.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Jones, Nancy (Nancy N.)

A Beholding and Jubilant Soul: Spiritual Awakening in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards and Ralph Waldo Emerson

Description: This study explores continuities in thought between Jonathan Edwards and Ralph Waldo Emerson by comparing their respective views on spiritual awakening. Their parallel ideas are discussed as results of similar perceptual dispositions which lead both to view awakening as an inner metamorphosis that leaves man less self-centered and more capable of a universal perception and appreciation of spiritual unity and beauty. Emphasized are parallels in Edwards's and Emerson's concepts of God, their views on the nature of awakening, their versions of preparation, and their thoughts about virtue and the awakened man. These continuities are also discussed as ideas that compose an underlying unity in American thought which unites the seemingly contradictory heritages of Puritanism and transcendentalism.
Date: December 1980
Creator: Martin, Valerie Lynn

"Beowulf": Myth as a Structural and Thematic Key

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 these formulaic elements in Indo-European myth, particularly in the myth of the dying god. Chapter VI argues that both historical and mythological layers of meaning reflect traditional man's view of history as cyclic, a temporal period with a beginning and an end. At the juncture between end and beginning is conflict, which is necessary for regeneration. The interlacing of Christian, historical and mythic elements suggests the impossibility of extricating the individual and collective historical manifestations from the cosmic imperative of this cycle. The Beowulf poet perhaps saw in the ancient myths which permeated his cultural traditions the basis of meaning ...
Date: May 1990
Creator: Aitches, Marian A. (Marian Annette)

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

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 vision, with specific examples from Haroun and the Sea of Stories, "The Firebird's Nest," and numerous other articles, interviews, and essays involving Rushdie. In my conclusion I discuss some of the emerging similarities between film and the novel, born out of the relatively recent technology of video cassette recorders and players, and I examine the democratizing effects of this relatively new way of seeing.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Quazi, Moumin Manzoor

Browning's Theme: "The Letter Killeth, but the Spirit Giveth Life"

Description: This thesis is concerned with the establishment of an underlying philosophy for Robert Browning's many themes. It asserts that a notion found in II Corinthians 3:6, "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life," is basic to ideas such as Browning's belief in the superiority of life over art, of the wisdom of the heart over the intellect, and of honest skepticism over unexamined belief. The sources used to establish this premise are mainly the poems themselves, grouped in categories by subject matter of art, love, and religion. Some of his correspondence is also examined to ascertain how relevant the philosophy was to his own life. The conclusion is that the concept is, indeed, pervasive throughout Browning's poetry and extremely important to the man himself.
Date: August 1974
Creator: Rollins, Martha A.

A Categorization of Form for Stephen Crane's Poetry

Description: This thesis presents four categories of form basic to all of Stephen Crane's poetry: antiphons, apologues, emblems, and testaments. A survey of previous shortcomings in the critical acceptance of Crane as a poet leads into reasons why the categorization of form here helps to alleviate some of those problems. The body of the thesis consists of four chapters, one for each basic form. Each form is defined and explained, exemplary poems in each category are explicated, and specifics are given as to what makes one poem better than the next. The thesis ends with an elevation of Crane's worth as a poet and a confirmation of the merits of this new categorization of form.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Weber, Joseph John

The Celtic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Description: The medieval English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight evidences much of its Celtic heritage in the plot and subplot, as well as in the characters themselves. The Ulster Cycle, an ancient Irish story group, and the Mabinogion, a medieval collection of traditional Welsh tales, both contain parallels to the English romance. In addition to these numerous analogues, other Celtic features appear in the poem. Knowingly or not, the Gawain-poet used the conventions of the Irish and Welsh traditions in the Other World journey, the battle-belt/lace, the pentangle/ sun symbol, and the color green. A study of these elements as Celtic features of the poem ensures a proper reading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Date: August 1980
Creator: Alewine, Elizabeth

Ceridwen and Christ: An Arthurian Holy War

Description: Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel The Mists of Avalon is different from the usual episodic versions of the Arthurian legend in that it has the structural unity that the label "novel" implies. The narrative is set in fifth-century Britain, a time of religious conflict between Christianity and the native religions of Britain, especially the Mother Goddess cult. Bradley pulls elements from the Arthurian legend and fits them into this context of religious struggle for influence. She draws interesting family relationships which are closely tied to Avalon, the center of Goddess worship. The author also places the major events during Arthur's reign into the religious setting. The Grail's appearance at Camelot and the subsequent events led to the end of the religious struggle, for Christianity emerged victorious.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Peters, Patricia Fulkes