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A Sensory Tour of Cape Cod: Thoreau's Transcendental Journey to Spiritual Renewal

Description: Predominantly darker than his other works, Cape Cod depicts Henry David Thoreau's interpretation of life as a struggle for survival and a search for salvation in a stark New England setting. Representing Thoreau's greatest test of the goodness of God and nature, the book illustrates the centrality of the subject of death to Thoreau's philosophy of life. Contending that Thoreau's journey to the Cape originated from an intensely personal transcendental impulse connected with his brother's death, this study provides the first in-depth examination of Thoreau's use of the five senses in Cape Cod to reveal both the eccentricities inherent in his relationship with nature and his method of resolving his fears of mortality. Some of the sense impressions in Cape Cod--particularly those that center around human death and those that involve tactile sensations--suggest that Thoreau sometimes tried to master his fears by subconsciously altering painful historical facts or by avoiding the type of sensual contact that aggravated the repressed guilt he suffered from his brother's death. Despite his personal idiosyncrasies, however, Thoreau persisted in his search for truth, and the written record of his journey in Cape Cod documents how his dedication to the transcendental process enabled him to surmount his inner turmoil and reconfirm his intuitive faith. In following this process to spiritual renewal, Thoreau begins with subjective impressions of nature and advances to knowledge of objective realities before ultimately reaching symbolic and universal truth. By analyzing nature's lessons as they evolve from Thoreau's use of his senses, this dissertation shows that Cape Cod, rather than invalidating Thoreau's faith, actually expands his transcendental perspective and so rightfully stands beside Walden as one of the fundamental cornerstones of his canon. In addition, the study proffers new support for previous psychoanalytical interpretations of Thoreau and his writings, reveals heretofore unrecognized historical ...
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Talley, Sharon

Serpent Imagery in William Blake's Prophetic Works

Description: William Blake's prophetic works are made up almost entirely of a unique combination of symbols and imagery. To understand his books it is necessary to be aware that he used his prophetic symbols because he found them apt to what he was saying, and that he changed their meanings as the reasons for their aptness changed. An awareness of this manipulation of symbols will lead to a more perceptive understanding of Blake's work. This paper is concerned with three specific uses of serpent imagery by Blake. The first chapter deals with the serpent of selfhood. Blake uses the wingless Uraeon to depict man destroying himself through his own constrictive analytic reasonings unenlightened with divine vision. Man had once possessed this divine vision, but as formal religions and a priestly class began to be formed, he lost it and worshipped only reason and cruelty. Blake also uses the image of the serpent crown to characterize priests or anyone in a position of authority. He usually mocks both religious and temporal rulers and identifies them as oppressors rather than leaders of the people. In addition to the Uraeon and the serpent crown, Blake also uses the narrow constricted body of the serpent and the encircled serpent to represent narrowmindedness and selfish possessiveness. The second chapter deals with the serpent as a symbolic force of energy itself. Blake uses the serpent to represent birth, the life force, guardian of life forces, inner strength, resurrection, forces of destruction, and rebellion against tyranny. The Orc figure, a mythological creation of Blake, is the major representative of all phases of energy. He is a Promethean figure of rebellion and often described by Blake as having a "serpent body." His birth represents the awakening of a terrible, uncontrolled energy which will bring war, destruction, and death. He ...
Date: December 1975
Creator: Shasberger, Linda M.

Sexist Language in the Popular Lyrics of the Seventies

Description: The purpose of this study has been to analyze the language of the popular lyrics of the seventies to determine if sexism is used to communicate in various musical genres. Three manifestations of sexist language developed by the Sexism in Textbooks Committee of Women at Scott, Foresman have been used in this study. The lyrics analyzed include 100 lyrics selected from songwriter-singers noted as articulate musical artists of the seventies, 90 songs reaching the "Top Ten" charts (1970-1978), and the top 100 songs of 1978. Chapter I defines sexism and explains three manifestations of sexist language. Chapter II includes examples from seven talented lyricists which illustrate sexism. Chapter III presents an evaluation of sexism in the "Top Ten" lyrics (1970-1978). Chapter IV reveals changes in stereotypic language appearing in the 1978 top 100 lyrics. Chapter V offers summaries and reasons for the findings.
Date: December 1980
Creator: Teague, Carolyn

Shakespeare and Modeling Political Subjectivity

Description: This dissertation examines the role of aesthetic activity in the pursuit of political agency in readings of several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet (1600), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), The Tempest (1610), the history plays of the second tetralogy (1595-9), Julius Caesar (1599), and Coriolanus (1605). I demonstrate how Shakespeare models political subjectivity—the capacity for individuals to participate meaningfully in the political realm—as necessitating active aesthetic agency. This aesthetic agency entails the fashioning of artistically conceived public personae that potential political subjects enact in the public sphere and the critical engagement of the aesthetic and political discourses of the subjects’ culture in a self-reflective and appropriative manner. Furthermore, these subjects should be wary auditors of the texts and personae they encounter within the public sphere in order to avoid internalizing constraining ideologies that reify their identities into forms less conducive to the pursuit of liberty and social mobility. Early modern audiences could discover several models for doing so in Shakespeare’s works. For example, Hamlet posits a model of Machiavellian theatricality that masks the Prince's interiority as he resists the biopolitical force and disciplinary discourses of Claudius's Denmark. Julius Caesar and Coriolanus advance a model of citizenship through the plays’ nameless plebeians in which rhetoric offers the means to participate in Rome’s political culture, and Shakespeare’s England for audiences, while authorities manipulate citizen opinion by molding the popularity of public figures. Public, artistic ability affords potential political subjects ways of not only framing their participation in their culture but also ways of conceiving of their identities and relationships to society that may defy normative notions of membership in the community.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Worlow, Christian D.

She "Too much of water hast": Drownings and Near-Drownings in Twentieth-Century American Literature by Women

Description: Drowning is a frequent mode of death for female literary characters because of the strong symbolic relationship between female sexuality and water. Drowning has long been a punishment for sexually transgressive women in literature. In the introduction, Chapter 1, I describe the drowning paradigm and analyze drowning scenes in several pre-twentieth century works to establish the tradition which twentieth-century women writers begin to transcend. In Chapter 2, I discuss three of Kate Chopin's works which include drownings, demonstrating her transition from traditional drowning themes in At Fault and “Desiree's Baby” to the drowning in The Awakening, which prefigures the survival of protagonists in later works. I discuss one of these in Chapter 3: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Although Janie must rely on her husband to save her from the flood, she survives, though her husband does not. In Chapter 4, I discuss two stories by Eudora Welty, “Moon Lake” and “The Wide Net.” In “Moon Lake,” Easter nearly drowns as a corollary to her adolescent sexual awakening. Although her resuscitation is a brutal simulation of a rape, Easter survives. “The Wide Net” is a comic story that winks at the drowning woman tradition, showing a young bride who pretends to drown in order to recapture the affections of her husband. Chapter 5 analyzes a set of works by Margaret Atwood. Lady Oracle includes another faked drowning, while “The Whirlpool Rapids” and “Walking on Water” feature a protagonist who feels invulnerable after her near-drowning. The Blind Assassin includes substantial drowning imagery. Chapter 6 discusses current trends in near-drowning fiction, focusing on the river rafting adventure stories of Pam Houston.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Coffelt, J. Roberta

Short Stories

Description: This collection of seven representative original short stories will include four short stories relating to a fictional location in Dallas, the Starry Skies gay country-and-western dance hall. Three short stories set in fabulous, sometimes absurd settings, will follow. A preface dealing with the nature of fictional place and non-fictional place in fiction will precede the collection of short stories.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Gay, Wayne Lee

Sound Imagery in "Walden" and Related Works

Description: Through careful analysis of sound in Walden with some attention to related works, this study demonstrates the three major facets of Thoreau's use of sound: first, an unusual aural sensitivity illustrated by his many varied sound images, which add concreteness and experiential immediacy; next, the depth of meaning that sound has as his metaphysical symbol in perception and expression of spiritual truth; finally, his effectiveness with such auditory devices as rhythm, alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia to achieve a poetic quality-. Of equal importance to Thoreau are the sounds of his writing and the sounds in his writing. Realizing the reality, depth, and texture Thoreau gives his prose through his remarkable treatment of sound increases one's appreciation of Walden as art and of Thoreau as literary artist.
Date: December 1978
Creator: Maddux, Linda Darlene

Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.

Description: Research to date on the native versus non-native English speaker teacher (NEST versus non-NEST) debate has primarily focused on teacher self-perception and performance. A neglected, but essential, viewpoint on this issue comes from English as a second language (ESL) students themselves. This study investigated preferences of adults, specifically immigrant and refugee learners, for NESTs or non-NESTs. A 34-item, 5-point Likert attitudinal survey was given to 102 students (52 immigrants, 50 refugees) enrolled in ESL programs in a large metropolitan area in Texas . After responding to the survey, 32 students volunteered for group interviews to further explain their preferences. Results indicated that adult ESL students have a general preference for NESTs over non-NESTs, but have stronger preferences for NESTs in teaching specific skill areas such as pronunciation and writing. There was not a significant difference between immigrants' and refugees' general preferences for NESTs over non-NESTs based on immigration status.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Torres, Julie West

"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

Stones, Beer Cans, and Other Pieces of These Poems

Description: This collection of poetry contains a brief introduction, one half discussing Gary Snyder's ideas on poetry in his essay, "Poetry and the Primitive," the other half of the introduction examining the successive revisions of a poem of mine. The examination is not an explication, but rather a look at the technique used in composing this poem. The body of the thesis is a collection of my poetry which I have written within the last four years. The poems speak both of experience and postulation of ideas. Though they do not follow any select pattern of thought or form, there is some connection between them in their subject matter.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Taylor, James D. (James David), 1962-

Stranger Than Fact

Description: As a dyslexic child, I always had trouble finding my voice. It's hard to express yourself in words, when you struggle with them. For me words always come later when I write. But most people don't understand how I feel. If your synapses fire off at the right time how can you image what it would be like it they didn't? That's where fiction comes in. If you can override someone's lack of experience with the use of a metaphor, then by distancing the reader from reality with an allegory, you can get to truth that's hard to capture any other way. You can also simply tell the truth in your writing with plain nonfiction. For me, fiction and nonfiction are a way for me to claim my voice and convey truth. Only a reader can decided what that truth looks like.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Saxton, Kelly E.

Themes of Exodus and Revolution in Ellison's Invisible Man, Morrison's Beloved, and Doctorow's Ragtime

Description: In my dissertation I examine the steps in and performance of revolution through the writings of three Postmodern authors, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and E. L. Doctorow, in light of the model of the biblical Exodus journey and the revolution which precipitated that movement. I suggest that the revolution which began with the Israelites' bondage in Egypt has provided the foundation for American literature. I show that Invisible Man, Beloved, and Ragtime not only employ the motif of the Exodus journey; they also perpetuate the silent revolution begun by the Israelites while held captive in Egypt. This dissertation consists of six chapters. Chapter One provides the introduction to the project. Chapter Two provides the model for this study by defining the characteristics of the Exodus journey, Moses as the leader of the Israelites, and the pattern of revolution established by Michael Walzer in Exodus and Revolution. In Chapters Three, Four, and Five, I apply the model established in Chapter Two to the individual texts. In Chapter Six, I draw three conclusions which arise from my study. My first conclusion is that the master story of the Exodus journey and the Israelites' liberation from Egypt informs all Western literaturewhether the literature reinforces the centrality of the master story to our lives or whether the literature refutes the significance of the master story. Second, the stages of revolution present in the biblical Exodus are also present in twentieth-century American literature. My third conclusion is that authors whose works deal with an exploration of the past in order to effect healing are authors who are revolutionary because their goal is to encourage revolution by motivating readers to refuse to accept the status quo and to, instead, join the revolution which demands change. They do this by asking questions which are characteristic of that ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Turner, Tracy Peterson

The Themes of God and Death in the Poetry of Stevie Smith

Description: Stevie Smith's treatment of her two major themes of God and death reveals her seriousness as a poet; although she earned a reputation as a writer of comic verse, she is rather a serious writer employing a comic mask. This thesis explores her two, dominant themes, which reveal her inability to synthesize her views about both subjects. In religion, she proved to be a doubter, an atheist, and a believer. Her attitude toward death, though more consistent, is nonetheless ambiguous, particularly regarding suicide. Smith always considered death as a god, and her examination of both the gods of Christianity and of Death was exhaustive. She never developed a single view of either theme but proved to believe in several conflicting ideas at once.
Date: December 1978
Creator: Thurman, Susan E.

Thoreau's Use of Imagery in "Walden"

Description: It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate the nature of Thoreau's use of organic imagery by tracing recurrent symbols that represent key concepts and provide unity and coherence throughout Walden. By charting the patterns of imagery in Walden, one can observe Thoreau's movement from an initially pessimistic view of man's present state to one of transcendental optimism and hope for freedom in the future.
Date: December 1973
Creator: Sullivan, Jennifer Sims

The Ties that Bind : Breaking the Bonds of Victimization in the Novels of Barbara Pym, Fay Weldon and Margaret Atwood

Description: In this study of several novels each by Barbara Pym, Fay Weldon, and Margaret Atwood, I focus on two areas: the ways in which female protagonists break out of their victimization by individuals, by institutions, and by cultural tradition, and the ways in which each author uses a structural pattern in her novels to propel her characters to solve their dilemmas to the best of their abilities and according to each woman's personality and strengths.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Rathburn, Fran M. (Frances Margaret), 1948-

Tinder for the Bathhouses

Description: In the preface to this collection, "Poetry and History: Finding 'What Will Suffice,'" I show how Czeslaw Milosz's "Dedication" and Jorie Graham's "Guantánamo" embody the virtues of philosophical meditation and the moral imagination to create a unique poetry of witness. These poems also provide American poets with an example of how they can regain the trust of an apathetic general reading audience. Tinder for the Bathhouses is a collection of poems in which I use the moral imagination to indirectly bear witness to events as far ranging as the Holocaust and the Iraq War. Using the family as a foundation, I show how historical narratives can provide a poet with the tools to think about larger metaphysical questions that poetry can raise, such as the nature of beauty and the purpose of art.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Bredthauer, Bredt

To Be the Child of the Priest

Description: This collection of creative non-fiction essays is written from the perspective of a Protestant Christian church leader’s daughter emerging into adulthood and independence. She labors to define her relationship with God, family, and friends and to determine the complicated, but pervasive role of faith in her life while coping with depression and anxiety; a brain aneurysm and malformation among other health problems; working in an all-male environment in the Houston Chronicle Sports department; the death of her grandparents; the death of a Muslim friend in a murder-suicide shooting; and her troubled relationship with an agnostic friend. Although she expresses her doubts in each scenario, she identifies purpose in the trials and accepts the challenges that accompany being the child of the priest.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Newman, Kathryn G.

Toward a Phenomenological Theory of Literature

Description: The problem is the investigation of the possibility of an alternative theory of literature that attempts to show literature's relation to human consciousness. A phenomenological theory of literature is presented as a comprehensive theory of literature as opposed to extrinsic theories that are not comprehensive. The basic assumption is that a comprehensive theory of literature must take into account literature's relationship to human consciousness. The shortcomings of traditional modes of literary theory are discussed in order to provide grounds for the proposed intrinsic alternative. The philosophical foundations for the proposed alternative are laid in the phenomenology of Husserl, Ingarden, Heidegger, and the French existentialists. These four positions are mediated through the introduction of the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. Finally, the proposed alternative theory of literature is applied to the test case of Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Taylor, Larry G.

Toward a Rhetoric of Marketing for High-Tech Services

Description: The market for high-tech services is expanding, and writers will have to create more documents to market these services. Researchers note marked differences between traditional goods marketing and services marketing. A rhetorical framework for high-tech services marketing will give writers a tool for creating effective marketing messages. This study examines the five canons of rhetoric in their classical context, and then examines how the first professional teachers, the Sophists, used rhetoric to promote their services. The canons of rhetoric are then analyzed to show their modern significance. This study also considers visual rhetoric and how writers can use it effectively. This study shows that companies should promote service quality and strong service relationships through the rhetorical element of ethos. This study examines services marketing samples through a visual and verbal rhetorical framework, providing rhetorical insights that writers can use in their work.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Willerton, David Russell

True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction

Description: True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction consists of a scholarly preface and four creative works. The preface discusses narrative distance as used in both fiction and nonfiction, and as compares to other narrative agents such as point of view, especially in contemporary creative writing. The selection of stories examines relationships, especially familial, and themes of isolation, community, and memory. Collection includes two chapters of a novel-in-progress, Fences, short fiction story "Trees and Furniture," and creative nonfiction essays, "Floating" and "On the Sparrow."
Date: December 2009
Creator: Al-Qasem, Ruby

Unclean Slates: Stories

Description: Unclean Slates: Stories is a collection of seven short stories that comments on the nature of family ties, and how such ties help form a sense of identity. Each story focuses on a separate protagonist, all of whom strive for a new beginning or an escape from some aspect of their current lives. The short story cycle of this collection is held together not by place or characters, but ultimately by the theme of wishing for a new beginning: they share a desire to fix some dissatisfying element of their lives. Mostly from the point of view of blue-collar characters leading mundane middle-class lives, these stories provide commentary on what it means to run from the conditions that make up one's sense of identity. Most of the revelations formed throughout these stories lead to a sense of acceptance of these conditions, and an understanding that family and history make up part of human consciousness. While the specific locations presented in these stories are not necessarily the same, each story seeks to focus on a location that proves to be fundamental to the makeup of the protagonist. The cities and geographic locations themselves are not as important as the specifics: the schools, diners, lakes, and so forth where these characters find themselves contemplating their disillusionment about where their lives have brought them. Facing everything from postpartum depression to simply missing out on a career opportunity, these characters all experience a sense of loss that brings them together in a way that is recognizable to the reader as the collection progresses.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gollahon, Catherine

Vulgar Moon

Description: The preface to this collection, "Speculation and Silence," argues that confessional poetry remains integral to contemporary poetics, though the implications of the term have changed since its "first-generation." Confessional poetry must not be dependent on simply the transmission of sensational details and the emotional consequences, but on poets' implementation of silence and restraint in both the diffusion of ideas and in the crafting of the piece. Vulgar Moon is a collection of poems in which I explore the implications of events ranging from erotic love and motherhood, to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and Jewish history. In addition, these pieces explore the inner workings of the human psyche, both tender and malignant, and the inherent human need for absolution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Miller, Kelley Reno

Wake

Description: Preface: A consideration of the New Sincerity movement in contemporary American poetics in the work of Tao Lin, Matt Hart, and Dorothea Lasky. Creative work: A three section book of poetry exploring elegy, form, and the intersection of strangeness and domesticity.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Beard, Christopher Aaron

Where My Own Grave Is

Description: The preface to this collection, "Against Expectation: The Lyric Narrative," highlights the ways James Wright, Stephen Dunn, and C.K. Williams use narrative to strengthen their poems. Where My Own Grave Is is a collection of poems that uses narrative to engage our historical fascination with death.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Collier, Jordan Taylor