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Imagining The Reader: Vernacular Representation and Specialized Vocabulary in Medieval English Literature

Description: William Langland's The Vision of Piers Plowman was probably the first medieval English poem to achieve a national audience because Langland chose to write in the vernacular and he used the specialized vocabularies of his readership to open the poem to them. During the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, writers began using the vernacular in an attempt to allow all English people access to their texts. They did so consciously, indicating their intent in prologues and envois when they formally address readers. Some writers, like Langland and the author of Mankind, actually use representatives of the rural classes as primary characters who exhibit the beliefs and lives of the rural population. Anne Middleton's distinction between public-the readership an author imagined-and audience-the readership a work achieved-allows modern critics to discuss both public and audience and try to determine how the two differed. While the public is always only a presumption, the language in which an author writes and the cultural events depicted by the literature can provide a more plausible estimate of the public. The vernacular allowed authors like Gower, Chaucer, the author of Mankind, and Langland to use the specialized vocabularies of the legal and rural communities to discuss societal problems. They also use representatives of the communities to further open the texts to a vernacular public. These open texts provide some representation for the rural and common people's ideas about the other classes to be heard. Langland in particular uses the specialized vocabularies and representative characters to establish both the faults of all English people and a common guide they can follow to seek moral lives through Truth. His rural character, Piers the Plowman, allows rural readers to identify with the messages in the text while showing upper class and educated readers that they too can emulate a rural ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Walther, James T.

Improving Topic Tracking with Domain Chaining

Description: Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) research has produced some successful statistical tracking systems. While lexical chaining, a non-statistical approach, has also been applied to the task of tracking by Carthy and Stokes for the 2001 TDT evaluation, an efficient tracking system based on this technology has yet to be developed. In thesis we investigate two new techniques which can improve Carthy's original design. First, at the core of our system is a semantic domain chainer. This chainer relies not only on the WordNet database for semantic relationships but also on Magnini's semantic domain database, which is an extension of WordNet. The domain-chaining algorithm is a linear algorithm. Second, to handle proper nouns, we gather all of the ones that occur in a news story together in a chain reserved for proper nouns. In this thesis we also discuss the linguistic limitations of lexical chainers to represent textual meaning.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Yang, Li

The Incest Taboo in Wuthering Heights

Description: Contemporary analysis of Wuthering Heights necessitates a re-appraisal in light of advancements in the study of incest in non-literary fields such as history, anthropology, and especially psychology. A modern reading suggests that an unconscious incest taboo impeded Heathcliff and Cathy's expectation of normal sexual union and led them to seek union after death. John Milton's Paradise Lost provides a paradigm by which to examine the consequences of incest from two perspectives: that of incest as a metaphor for evil, as represented in Heathcliff; that of incest as symbolic of pre-Lapsarian innocence, as represented in Cathy. The tragic consequences of Heathcliff and Cathy's incestuous fixation are resolved by the socially-condoned marriage of Hareton and Catherine, which illuminates Bronte's belief in the Miltonic theme that good inevitably triumphs over evil.
Date: August 1987
Creator: McGuire, Kathryn B. (Kathryn Bezard)

The Indian Figure in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and William Gilmore Simm's The Yemassee

Description: Though it is important to establish the authenticity of Cooper's and Simm's thematic and historical Indians, it is more important to show that the writers were accurate in their delineation of the customs, personalities, and thoughts of the Indian tribes represented in the two books.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Maness, Ella Mae

“The Inevitable: Withdrawn”

Description: The Inevitable: Withdrawn is a critical preface and collection of non-fiction writing: personal essay, lyric essay, fragments, and experimental forms. The work’s cohesive subject matter is the author’s European vacation directly following her divorce. Within the pieces, the author attempts to reconcile who she is when starting over and she begins to ask questions regarding the human condition: How do I learn to exhibit intimacy again, not just with romantic partners, but with also in a familial way with my father, and how does absence in these relationships affect my journey and how I write about it? How do I view, and remake myself, when finding my identity that was tied to another individual compromised? How does a body, both physical and belonging to me, and physical as text, take certain shapes to reflect my understanding? How do I define truth, and how do I interpret truth and authenticity in both experience and writing? How do I define and know the difference between belief and truth? And finally, how does narrative and language protect, or expose me? The Inevitable: Withdrawn considers debates regarding the definition of narrative in order to address a spectrum of non-fiction writing. The collection takes into consideration non-fiction conventions, form as functionality, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, prose and poetic theory, and the works of other notable writers.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Christy, Gwendolyn Anne

The Influence of Lavinia and Susan Dickinson on Emily Dickenson

Description: The purpose of this study is to seek out, examine, and analyze the relationship that Emily Dickinson shared with her sister, Lavinia, and with her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert Dickinson. All of her letters and poems have been carefully considered, as well as the letters and diaries of friends and relatives who might shed light on the three women.
Date: May 1973
Creator: McCarthy, Janice Spradley

The Influence of the Drama on Clarissa: a Survey of Scholarship

Description: Most Richardson scholarship mentions that Clarissa shares affinities with drama; however, with the exception of three books and a few articles, there is no comprehensive study of the drama's effect upon the composition of the work. No one work deals with all areas in which drama affected the novel, and no one work deals exclusively with Clarissa. The drama influenced the composition of the novel in three ways: First, tragedy and theories of neoclassic tragedy exerted an influence upon the work. Richardson himself defended his novel in terms of eighteenth-century views of tragedy. Secondly, Restoration and early eighteenth-century plays affected the plot, character portrayals, and language of Clarissa. Lastly, Richardson adapted techniques of the stage to the novel so that Clarissa, though an epistolary novel, achieves the manner, if not the effect, of the theater.
Date: May 1978
Creator: Teeter, Barbara G.

The Influence of the Emblem on Spenser's Presentation of Allegorical Figures in The Faerie Queene

Description: Critics frequently, sometimes irresponsibly, label Spenser's poetry "emblematic" because of the appearance of either striking allegorical figures or moral assertions. This thesis establishes a standard for the application of the term "emblematic": first, by defining those elements which characterize emblems; second, by examining the emblem's cultural milieu; and third, by analyzing the "emblem patterns" that appear in The Faerie Queene. The study concludes that these "emblem patterns" transform the two essential elements of emblems to a literary treatment: the emblem engraving takes the form of a poetic description of allegorical figures or scenes; the didactic poem is condensed to an explicit moral statement. These "emblem patterns," then, can be regarded as reasonable criteria for labelling Spenser's poem "emblematic."
Date: December 1977
Creator: Howard, Patricia W.

The Insane Narrator in Contemporary American Fiction

Description: This study is an inquiry into the relationship between the contemporary American writer's understanding of American reality and his attempt to convey this reality by the use of an insane first-person point of view character. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the insane narrator's point of view not only recreates the feeling of absurdity through the disjointed point of view of the madman, but also points to the absurdity in contemporary American life. The first part of this study analyzes the narrators in Henderson the Rain King, The Bell Jar, and Lancelot. The second part uses A Fan's Notes, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Breakfast of Champions to discuss the problems that arise from the use of an insane narrator.
Date: August 1978
Creator: Coelen, George Ronald

Inside Out: Eye Imagery and Female Identity in Margaret Atwood's Poetry

Description: Margaret Atwood speaks about a now common and yet still predominant question of female identity. Eye images, appearing frequently, correlate with ideas of observation, perception, and reflection as the woman seeks to understand herself. Introductory material examines three female archetypes, five victim positions, and male-female worlds. Eye imagery in early poetry expresses female feelings of frustration and submission to unfair roles and expectations. Imagery in the middle poetry presents causes for male-female manipulations. In later poetry eye imagery underscores the woman's anger and desire to separate into a new self. Concluding this study is an analysis of female options. From denial and anger the poet moves to recognition of choices open to today's woman, offering a possibility of wholeness.
Date: May 1982
Creator: Conner, Susan Carpenter

Instruction in Composition through Small-Group Activities for Secondary Students

Description: It is the purpose of this thesis to describe various small-group activities which could be used in classes of secondary English to help to "teach-Johnny-to-write." These activities are divided into four areas of study--developing and practicing specific skills related to writing, developing a topic, planning a theme, and evaluating student writing.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Jensen, Ann L.


Description: This dissertation is has two parts: a critical essay on the lyric subject, and a collection of poems. In the essay, I suggest that, contrary to various anti-subjectivists who continue to define the lyric subject in Romantic terms, a strain of Post-Romantic lyric subjectivity allows us to think more in terms of space, process, and dialogue and less in terms of identity, (mere self-) expression, and dialectic. The view I propose understands the contemporary lyric subject as a confluence or parallax of imagined and felt subjectivities in which the subject who writes the poem, the subject personified as speaker in the text itself, and the subject who receives the poem as a reader are each repeatedly drawn out of themselves, into others, and into an otherness that calls one beyond identity, mastery, and understanding. Rather than arguing for the lyric subject as autonomous, expressive (if fictive) "I,” I have suggested that the lyric subject is a dialogical matrix of multiple subjectivities—actual, imagined, anticipated, deferred—that at once posit and emerge from a space whose only grounded, actual place in the world is the text: not the court, not the market, and not a canon of legitimized authors, but in the relatively fugitive realm of text. In this way, there is no real contradiction between what Tucker terms the intersubjective and the intertextual. The lyric space I am arguing for is ultimately a diachronic process in which readers take up the poem and bring that space partially into their bodies, imaginations, and consciousness even as the poem brings them out, or to the edge, of each of these.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Haines, Robert M.

Interactions Between Texts, Illustrations, and Readers: The Empiricist, Imperialist Narratives and Polemics of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Description: While literary critics heretofore have subordinated Conan Doyle to more "canonical" writers, the author argues that his writings enrich our understanding of the ways in which Victorians and Edwardians constructed their identity as imperialists and that we therefore cannot afford to overlook Conan Doyle's work.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Favor, Lesli J.

An Interpretation of the Theme of Snopesism in the Work of William Faulkner

Description: Ever since the publication of the novel Sartoria, members of a strange new breed of people by the name of Snopes have appeared in every Faulkner novel and short story which constitutes a part of what is called the Yoknapatawpha chronicle. Heretofore, it has been popular to support the thesis that the Snopeses represented the embodiment of crass commercialism, the inevitable replacement for the dying cotton aristocracy, and the direct retribution for the sins that had caused the downfall of these degenerate Southern gentry. This thesis will attempt to show, not that such a contention is wholly wrong, but that the real meaning of Snopesism lies much deeper than this, far beyond such a simple interpretation.
Date: August 1964
Creator: Moore, Jeanette Fenley

Into the Valley: Voices I Heard Along the Way

Description: Into the Valley: Voices I Heard Along the Way contains a preface and a collection of five short stories. The preface discusses the use of voice as a technique to develop characters and create authenticity through elements such as sentence structure, diction, dialogue, and regional, cultural, and/or gender-specific affectations to make the words on the page become audible language in the mind of the reader. Each story is written with a unique voice that presents characters who struggle to come to terms with the truth and its various shades of reality.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Barth, Amy K.