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Description: This thesis discusses pragmatist philosophy in the nineteenth century and its effect on American literature of the time.
Date: August 1998
Creator: England, Peter S. (Peter Shands)
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
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)
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
Description: The following collection represents the critical and creative work produced during my doctoral program in English. The dissertation consists of Part I, a critical preface, and Part II, a collection of seven short stories and two nonfiction essays. Part I, which contains the critical preface entitled "What to Say and How to Say It," examines the role of voice in discussions of contemporary literature. The critical preface presents a definition of voice and identifies examples of voice-driven writing in contemporary literature, particularly from the work of Mary Robison, Dorothy Allison, and Kathy Acker. In addition, the critical preface also discusses how the use of flavor, tone, and content contribute to voice, both in work of famous authors and in my own writing. In Part II of my dissertation, I present the creative portion of my work. Part II contains seven works of short fiction, titled "Among Waitresses," "The Lion Tamer," "Restoration Services," "Hospitality," "Blood Relation," "Managerial Timber," and "Velma A Cappella." Each work develops a voice-driven narrative through the use of flavor, tone, and content. Also, two nonfiction essays, titled "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" and "Tracks," close out the collection. "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" describes the impact of methamphetamine addiction on family relationships, while "Tracks" focuses on the degradation of the natural world by human waste and other forms of pollution. In total, this collection demonstrates my approach to both scholarly and creative writing, and I am grateful for the University of North Texas for the opportunity to develop academically and achieve my goals.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hobbs, Jessica
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
Description: Both contemporary and modern critics recognize the industrial, regional, and personal conflicts in North and South. There are, however, other conflicts which Mrs. Gaskell treats and resolves. This study emphasizes inner struggles resulting from repressive Victorian sexual mores. An examination of conflicts at a deeper -level than has previously been attempted clarifies motivations of individual characters, reveals a conscious and unconscious pattern within the novel and gives a fuller appreciation of Mrs. Gaskell's psychological insight. Included for discussion are examples of the Victorian feminine stereotype and the use of religion as sexual sublimation. A major portion of the paper concerns the growth of the heroine, Margaret Hale, from repressed sexuality to an acceptance of womanhood in Victorian society.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Brown, Kathleen B.
Description: For this study, an analysis will be made of six of Edith Wharton's heroines: Lily Bart, the luxury-loving, aristocratic heroine of The House of Mirth, who was destroyed by her own class; Ellen Olenska, who neither lost nor sought an established place in New York society, since it belonged to her, and she stayed there by the sacrifice of instinct and happiness; Anna Leath, a typical product of puritan New York, who suffered from having learned so thoroughly the rules of her generation; Halo Tarrant, who took love into her own hands and defied society but felt the strength of the social convention which shuts out the woman who does not play the game according to the rules; Undine Spragg, the social adventurer, who represents ambition, which Mrs. Wharton had come to recognize as the dominant characteristic of the new woman of America; and Sophy Viner, an American girl who, yielding to temptation, is plunged into insecurity because she comes into contact with Anna Leath and the rules of her world.
Creator: Wheeler, Ferrel
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
Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether each of the nine introduced tales in Pickwick Papers was written at the same time as the main narrative of the number in which the tale appears.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Lindley, L. Clark
Description: The charms are among the oldest extant specimens of English prose and verse, and in their first form were undoubtedly of heathen origin. In the form in which they have been handed down they are much overlaid with Christian lore, but it is not difficult to recognize the primitive mythological strata. The charms have points of contact with medieval Latin literature, both in form and spirit; and yet they afford us glimpses of the Germanic past, and pictures of the everyday life of the Anglo-Saxons, not found in other Old English poetry.
Creator: Johansen, Hazel Lee
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)
Description: In this dissertation, I show how 20th century African-American women writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison utilize animals-as-trope in order to illustrate the writers' humanity and literary vision. In the texts that I have selected, I have found that animals-as-trope functions in two important ways: the first function of animal as trope is a pragmatic one, which serves to express the humanity of African Americans; and the second function of animal tropes in African-American women's fiction is relational and expresses these writers' "ethic of caring" that stems from their folk and womanist world view. Found primarily in slave narratives and in domestic fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries, pragmatic animal metaphors and/or similes provide direct analogies between the treatment of African-Americans and animals. Here, these writers often engage in rhetoric that challenges pro-slavery apologists, who attempted to disprove the humanity of African-Americans by portraying them as animals fit to be enslaved. Animals, therefore, become the metaphor of both the abolitionist and the slavery apologist for all that is not human. The second function of animals-as-trope in the fiction of African-American women writers goes beyond the pragmatic goal of proving African-Americans's common humanity, even though one could argue that this goal is still present in contemporary African-American fiction. Animals-as-trope also functions to express the African-American woman writer's understanding that 1) all oppressions stem from the same source; 2) that the division between nature/culture is a false onethat a universal connection exists between all living creatures; and 3) that an ethic of caring, or relational epistemology, can be extended to include non-human animals. Twentieth-century African-American writers such as Hurston, Walker, and Morrison participate in what anthropologists term, "neototemism," which is the contemporary view that humankind is part of nature, or a vision that Morrison would ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Erickson, Stacy M.
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
Anne Brontë's New Women: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as Precursors of New Woman Fiction
Description: Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were published more than forty years before the appearance of the feminist type that the Victorians called the “New Woman;” yet, both novels contain characteristics of New Woman fiction. By considering how Brontë's novels foreshadow New Woman fiction, the reader of these novels can re-enact the “gentlest” Brontë as an influential feminist whose ideology informed the construction of the radical New Woman. Brontë, like the New Woman writers, incorporated autobiographical dilemmas into her fiction. By using her own experiences as a governess, Brontë constructs Agnes Grey's incongruent social status and a morally corrupt gentry and aristocracy through her depiction of not only Agnes's second employers, the Murrays, but also the morally debauched world that Helen enters upon her marriage to Arthur Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Moreover, Brontë incorporates her observations of Branwell's alcoholism and her own religious beliefs into The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Although Brontë's novels contain autobiographical material, her heroines are fictional constructions that she uses to engage her readers with the woman question. Brontë accomplishes this engagement through her heroines' narrative re-enactments of fictional autobiographical dilemmas. Helen's diary and Agnes's diary-based narrative produce the pattern of development of the Bildungsroman and foreshadow the New Woman novelists' Kunstlerromans. Brontë's heroines anticipate the female artist as the protagonist of the New Woman Kunstlerromans. Agnes and Helen both invade the masculine domain of economic motive and are feminists who profess gender definitions that conflict with dominant Victorian ideology. Agnes questions her own femininity by internalizing the governess's status incongruence, and Helen's femininity is questioned by those around her. The paradoxical position of both heroines anticipates the debate about the nature and function of art in which the New Woman writers engaged. Through her reconciliation of the aesthetic ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: Phillips, Jennifer K.
Description: To provide an annotated bibliography of criticism on the writings of Nathaniel Lee, Thomas Otway and Nicholas Rowe from 1900 to 1974 for students and scholars is the purpose of this study. The bibliography contains brief evaluations of each of the works, which are divided into the following categories: articles, books and chapters in books, and dissertations. An additional chapter includes those works which deal with two or more of the authors. The appendix contains a selected list of foreign language publications that concern the three playwrights.
Date: December 1976
Creator: Sherman, Margaret Christina
Description: There is evidence in Steinbeck's works of anti-intellectualism which is expressed by a somewhat maudlin handling of human emotions,and by a doggedly persistent attack on various intellectual types. This attitude is further revealed in Steinbeck's personal life by his abstention from any literary coteries or universities and his adamant refusal to discuss his life and works or offer his considerable talent to any institution of higher learning.
Date: August 1968
Creator: Dodge, Tommy R.
Description: This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, which discusses the elegy of possessive intent, a subgenre of the contemporary American elegy; and Part II, Antigravity, a collection of poems. English elegies have been closely rooted to a specific grief, making the poems closer to occasional poems. The poet—or at least the poet’s speaker—seeks some kind of public consolation for (often) a private loss. The Americanized form does stray from the traditional elegy yet retains some of its characteristics. Some American elegies memorialize failed romantic relationships rather than the dead. In their memorials, these speakers seek a completion for the lack the broken relationship has created in the speakers’ lives. What they can’t replace, they substitute with something personal. As the contemporary poem becomes further removed from tradition, it’s no surprise that the elegy has evolved as well. Discussions of elegies have never ventured into the type of elegy that concerns itself with the sort of unacknowledged loss found in some contemporary American poems of unrequited love. These poems all have speakers who willfully refuse to acknowledge the loss of their love-objects and strive to maintain control/ownership of their beloveds even in the face of rejection.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Bowen, Ashley Hamilton
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.
Description: Anything Like Us is a collection of poems with a critical introduction. In this introduction, I explore modern alternatives to Romantic and Neo-Romantic lyric expression. I conclude that a contemporary lyric that desires to be, in some fashion, about itself, must exhibit an acceptance of the mediating influences of time and language, while cultivating an inter-subjective point-of-view that does not insist too much on the authority of a single, coherent voice. The poems in Anything Like Us reflect, in both form and content, many of the conclusions advanced in the introduction. Nearly all the poems concern the desire for, and failure to find, meaningful connections in an uncertain world .
Date: August 2002
Creator: Roth, Matthew
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