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"Among Waitresses": Stories and Essays

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

An Analysis of Conflicts in Mrs. Gaskell's "North and South"

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.

An Analysis of Six Representative Women Characters in Edith Wharton's Novels

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.
Date: 1942
Creator: Wheeler, Ferrel

An Analysis of the Effect of Constituent Division of Reading Texts on Students of English as a Second Language

Description: The effect of constituent division of reading texts on ESL students was examined to note possible benefits to reading comprehension. An experimental group in each of three ESL proficiency levels was tested on a reading passage divided at the ends of lines at major constituent boundaries. Within each level, the experimental group was compared to a control group in three areas: reading time, test time, and test results. Results of the study do not support the theory that constituent division of reading texts could be beneficial to ESL students. The differences in reading time, test time, and test results of the experimental group and the control group in each level were insignificant.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Childress, Anita Gaye

An Analysis of the Overt Teaching of the Monitor to Students of English as a Second Language

Description: The overt teaching of the Monitor, or conscious rule awareness, to native Spanish-speaking ESL students was examined to note possible benefits to the students' oral English production. Native Spanish-speaking students of English (the experimental group) were taught an awareness of their ability to self-correct their spoken English. They were then compared to another group of native Spanish-speaking ESL students (the control group) in four areas: Ilyin Oral Interview score, total words produced, errors produced, and interference errors produced. The results of the study lend support to the theory that overt Monitor teaching could be beneficial to native Spanish-speaking students of English. The experimental group showed a significant gain in Ilyin scores and a significant reduction in the number of errors produced.
Date: August 1983
Creator: Conway, Jean (Priscilla Jean)

An analysis of the syntactic and lexical features of an Indian English oral narrative: A Pear Story study.

Description: This pilot study addresses the distribution of nonstandard syntactic and lexical features in Indian English (IE) across a homogeneous group of highly educated IE speakers. It is found that nonstandard syntactic features of article use, number agreement and assignment of verb argument structure do not display uniform intragroup distribution. Instead, a relationship is found between nonstandard syntactic features and the sociolinguistic variables of lower levels of exposure to and use of English found within the group. While nonstandard syntactic features show unequal distribution, nonstandard lexical features of semantic reassignment, and mass nouns treated as count nouns display a more uniform intragroup distribution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Seale, Jennifer Marie

Anglo-Saxon Charms

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.
Date: 1949
Creator: Johansen, Hazel Lee

“The Angular Degrees of Freedom” and Other Stories

Description: The preface, " Performing Brain Surgery: The Problematic Nature of Endings in Short Fiction," deals with the many and varied difficulties short story writers encounter when attempting to craft endings. Beginning with Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor and moving to my own work, I discuss some of the obscure criteria used to designate a successful ending, as well as the more concrete idea of the ending as a unifying element. Five short stories make up the remainder of this thesis: "In-between Girls," "Crocodile Man," "Surprising Things, Sometimes Amusing," "Good Jewelry," and "The Angular Degrees of Freedom."
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Feagin, Aprell McQueeney

Animals-as-Trope in the Selected Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison

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 ...
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Date: August 1999
Creator: Erickson, Stacy M.

Animals That Die

Description: The thesis has two parts. Part I is a critical essay entitled "Lessons Under the Amfalula." Part II is the collection of poems entitled "Animals That Die."
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Campbell, Susan Maxwell

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 ...
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Phillips, Jennifer K.

An Annotated Bibliography of Lee, Otway, and Rowe, 1900-1974

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

Anti-Intellectualism in the Works of John Steinbeck

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.

Antigravity

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

Anything Like Us

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

The Artist in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet

Description: Self-knowledge serves as the basis for further insight into other themes and ideas. The investigation proceeds, then, from the search for self to the somewhat higher plane of the role of the artist in society; it is completed with an analysis of the motivations which lead the artist into an attainment of complete artistic fulfillment.
Date: January 1964
Creator: Fry, Phillip Lee

Asleep in the Arms of God

Description: A work of creative fiction in the form of a short novel, Asleep in the Arms of God is a limited-omniscient and omniscient narrative describing the experiences of a man named Wafer Roberts, born in Jack County, Texas, in 1900. The novel spans the years from 1900 to 1925, and moves from the Keechi Valley of North Texas, to Fort Worth and then France during World War One, and back again to the Keechi Valley. The dissertation opens with a preface, which examines the form of the novel, and regional and other aspects of this particular work, especially as they relate to the postmodern concern with fragmentation and conditional identity. Wafer confronts in the novel aspects of his own questionable history, which echo the larger concern with exploitative practices including racism, patriarchy, overplanting and overgrazing, and pollution, which contribute to and climax in the postmodern fragmentation. The novel attempts to make a critique of the exploitative rage of Western civilization.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Clay, Kevin M.