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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.

Inter

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.

Into the Woods: Wilderness Imagery as Representation of Spiritual and Emotional Transition in Medieval Literature

Description: Wilderness landscape, a setting common in Romantic literature and painting, is generally overlooked in the art of the Middle Ages. While the medieval garden and the city are well mapped, the medieval wilderness remains relatively trackless. Yet the use of setting to represent interior experience may be traced back to the Neo-Platonic use of space and movement to define spiritual development. Separating themselves as far as possible from the material world, such writers as Origen and Plotinus avoided use of representational detail in their spatial models; however, both the visual artists and the authors who adopted the Neo-Platonic paradigm, elaborated their emotional spaces with the details of the classical locus amoenus and of the exegetical desert, while retaining the philosophical concern with spiritual transition. Analysis of wilderness as an image for spiritual and emotional transition in medieval literature and art relates the texts to an iconographic tradition which, along with motifs of city and garden, provides a spatial representation of interior progress, as the medieval dialectic process provides a paradigm for intellectual resolution. Such an analysis relates the motif to the core of medieval intellectual experience, and further suggests significant connections between medieval and modern narratives in regard to the representation of interior experience. The Divine Comedy and related Continental texts employ both classical and exegetical sources in the representation of psychological transition and spiritual conversion. Similar techniques are also apparent in English texts such as Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon elegies, in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, and Troilus and Criseyde, and in the northern English The Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. These literary texts, further, include both ideas and techniques which are analogous to those of visual arts, where frescos and altarpieces show the wilderness as metaphor for transition, and ...
Date: August 1997
Creator: Sholty, Janet Poindexter

The Invisible Dragon

Description: This collection of memoir essays chronicles the author's 19 year struggle with chronic depression. "The Invisible Dragon" explores the onset of the disease and its cure. "The Silent Typewriter" looks at how it affected the author as a writer. "Roses for Trish" discusses how it affected his wife. "My Mother's Son" explores the possibility that he inherited depression from his mother. The final essay, "The Dragon Returns" probes the author's life in 2012 with the probability that he has a personality disorder. The preface examines several depression memoirs and explores the strategies used by William Styron, Elizabeth Wurtzel and Kay Redfield Jamison to prevent sliding into the pitfalls inherent in a linear structure. Among these are the use of alternative structures, language, characterization, focus and imagery.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Boutwell, Nathan

Irony, Humor, and Ontological Relationality in Literature

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate ontological relationality in literary theory and criticism by critically reflecting on modern theories of literature and by practically examining the literary texts of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde. Traditional studies of literary texts have been oriented toward interpretative or hermeneutic methodologies, focusing on an independent and individual subject in literature. Instead, I explore how relational ontology uncovers the interactive structures interposed between the author, the text, and the audience by examining the system of how the author's creative positioning provokes the reader's reaction through the text. In Chapter I, I critically inquire into modern literary theories of "irony" in Romanticism, New Criticism, and Deconstructionism to show how they tend to disregard the dynamic dimension of interactive relationships between different literary subjects. Chapter II scrutinizes Wilde's humor in An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) in order to reveal the ontological relationships triggered by a creative positioning. In chapter III, I examine Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (c. 1400) and the laughter in "The Miller's Tale" in particular, to examine the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of its interactive relationships. In Chapter IV, I explore Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Othello (1603-4), and The Winter's Tale (1609-11) so as to show how artistic positioning creatively constructs a relational system of dynamic interactions to circulate social ideals and values. In so doing, this dissertation is aimed at revealing the aesthetic values of literature and the objective scope of literary discourse rather than providing yet another analytical paradigm dependent primarily on a single literary subject. Thus, the ontological study is proposed as an alternative, yet primary, dimension of literary criticism and theoretical practice.
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Date: August 2012
Creator: Kim, Soon Bae

"Is She Going to Die or Survive with Her Baby?": The Aftermath of Illegitimate Pregnancies in the Twentieth Century American Novels

Description: This dissertation is mainly based on the reading of three American novels to explore how female characters deal with their illegitimate pregnancies and how their solutions re-shape their futures and affect their inner growth. Chapter 1 discusses Dorinda Oakley's premarital pregnancy in Ellen Glasgow's Barren Ground and draws the circle of limits from Barbara Welter's "four cardinal virtues" (purity, submissiveness, domesticity, and piety) which connect to the analogous female roles (daughter, sister, wife, and mother). Dorinda's childless survival reconstructs a typical household from her domination and absence of maternity. Chapter 2 examines Ántonia Shimerda's struggles and endurance in My Ántonia by Willa Cather before and after Ántonia gives birth to a premarital daughter. Ántonia devotes herself to being a caring mother and to looking after a big family although her marriage is also friendship-centered. Chapter 3 adopts a different approach to analyze Charlotte Rittenmeyer's extramarital pregnancy in The Wild Palms by William Faulkner. As opposed to Dorinda and Ántonia who re-enter domesticity to survive, Charlotte runs out on her family and dies of a botched abortion. To help explain the aftermath of illicit pregnancies, I extend or shorten John Duvall's formula of female role mutations: "virgin>sexually active (called whore)>wife" to examine the riddles of female survival and demise. The overall argument suggests that one way or another, nature, society, and family are involved in illegitimately pregnant women's lives, and the more socially compliant a pregnant woman becomes after her transgression, the better chance she can survive with her baby.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Liu, Li-Hsion

Israel Zangwill as an Apologist

Description: Israel Zangwill, novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist, can be understood and appreciated best as an apologist whose chosen mission was to introduce the Jew to the English-speaking reader, a reader who had often see the word Jew on the pages of his literature but seldom had been able to meed an authentic specimen of the group in--or out--of print. This thesis will describe the works of Zangwill from an apologetic standpoint.
Date: August 1967
Creator: Richman, Harvey A.

Jeans, Boots, and Starry Skies: Tales of a Gay Country-and-Western Bar and Places Nearby

Description: Fourteen short stories, with five interspersed vignettes, describe the lives of gay people in the southwestern United States, centered around a fictional gay country-and-western bar in Dallas and a small town in Oklahoma. Various characters, themes, and trajectories recur in the manner of a short story cycle, as explained in the prefatory Critical Analysis, which focuses on exemplary works of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Shirley Jackson, Italo Calvino, Yevgeny Kharitonov, and Louise Erdrich.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Gay, Wayne Lee

Jezebel's Daughters: A Study of Wilkie Collins and His Female Villains

Description: The term "feminist," when applied to Wilkie Collins, implies he was concerned with rectifying the oppression of women in domestic life as well as with promoting equal rights between the sexes. This study explores Collins the "feminist" by analyzing his portrayals of women, particularly his most powerful feminine creations: his villainesses. Although this focus is somewhat limited, it allows for a detailed analysis of the development of Collins's attitudes towards powerful women from the beginning to the end of his career. It examines the relationship between Collins's developing moral attitudes and social beliefs, on the one hand, and the ideas of Victorian feminists such as Josephine Butler and feminist sympathizers such as John Stuart Mill, on the other. This interaction, while never overt, reveals the ambivalence and complexity of Collins's "feminist" attitudes. Of the five novels in this study, Antonina (1850), Basil (1852), Armadale (1866), Jezebel's Daughter (1880), and The Legacy of Cain (1889), only one was published at the zenith of Collins's career in the 1860s. Each of the villainesses in these novels, their ideas and experiences, are crucial to understanding Collins's "feminist" impulses. Looking at them as powerful women who detest domestic oppression, one becomes aware that Collins feared such powerful women. But at the same time, he found something fiercely attractive about them. One also realizes that he was never fully capable of breaking the prevailing literary conventions which dictated that wickedness be punished and virtue rewarded (The Legacy of Cain is perhaps an exception, depending on how one views Helena's feminist revolution). The reading of Collins's novels offered in this study presents a broad, eclectic approach, utilizing the tenets of a number of different theoretical approaches such as new historicism, psychoanalytic criticism, and deconstruction, as well as feminist criticism. It contextualizes Collins's novels and his "feminist" ...
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Colvin, Trey Vincent

Jinxed

Description: My dissertation, Jinxed, developed out of my interest in the movement between the comic and the tragic by tracing the evolution of a romantic relationship. While employing biblical, classical, literary, and pop-cultural traditions, my manuscript has its most clear affinities with Renaissance poetry that navigates between the erotic and the spiritual. The sequence of poems recreates the character of Petrarch's Laura in the Little Redhead Girl, Charlie Brown's first love. My Laura, however, is a feisty secular Irish woman who simultaneously frustrates and attracts a religious narrator. To explore the multifaceted nature of their love, I employ a variety of poetic techniques, such as the repetition inherent in the villanelle to express the powerlessness of the narrator as he begins to fall in love. In "To a Young Philosopher," a sestina, one of the repeated words ("ephemeral") triggers a philosophical discussion that is a proposal of marriage. The manuscript also uses other forms such as the sonnet, Spenserian stanza, terza rima, couplets, and blank verse. Narratively, it ends with Charlie Brown after he has missed kicking Lucy's football, falling to earth literally and symbolically. Poems in the manuscript have appeared in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Talking River Review, and Passages North.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Davis, Richard

John Donne and the Classical Elegy

Description: The elegies, as a major body of John Donne's poetry, have been unjustly slighted by critics. In order to correct this imbalance in Donne criticism, this study will examine the whole body of Donne's formal elegies. Despite their diversity, it will be shown that they fall into several broad groupings based on tonal quality and elegiac type: complaintive, lamentive, amatory, and abusive and satiric. By examining Donne's elegies individually and in light of both the Elizabethan and the classical elegy, it will be seen that Donne is the only English poet who utilizes the full scope allowed by the classical elegy.
Date: August 1967
Creator: Crow, Betty G.

John Donne's Double Vision : Basic Dualities in the Sermon Literature

Description: This thesis is concerned with establishing the basis for evaluating John Donne's sermon literature as a thematic whole. In order to demonstrate this thematic unity and continuity, this study shows how Donne employes several bodies of imagery which reflect his double vision of man and sin and provide the basis for discussing the basic dualities in the bulk of Donne's 160 extant sermons.
Date: May 1971
Creator: Beck, Allen D.

John Graves and the Pastoral Tradition

Description: John Graves's creative non-fiction has earned him respect in Texas letters as a seminal writer but scarce critical commentary of his work outside the region. Ecological criticism examines how language, culture and the land interact, providing a context in which to discuss Graves in relation to the southwestern literary tradition of J. Frank Dobie, Walter P. Webb, and Roy Bedichek, to southern pastoral in the Virgilian mode, and to American nature writing. Graves's rhetorical strategies, including his appropriation of form, his non-polemical voice, his experimentation with narrative persona, and his utilization of traditional tropes of metaphor, metonymy, and irony, establish him as a conservative and Romantic writer of place concerned with the friction between traditional agrarian values and the demands of late-twentieth-century urban/technological existence. Sequentially, Graves's three main booksGoodbye to a River (1960), Hard Scrabble (1974), and From a Limestone Ledge (1980)represent a movement from the pastoral mode of the outward journey and return to the more domestic world of georgic, from the mode of leisure and contemplation to the demands and rewards of hard work and ownership. As such they represent not only progression or maturation in the arc of the narrator's life but a desire to reconcile ideological poles first examined so long ago in Virgil: leisure and work, freedom and responsibility, rural and urban values.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Anderson, David Roy

John Steinbeck's Characterization of Women: a Reevaluation

Description: This thesis seeks to refute by close examination of distaff character the claims that John Steinbeck is a misogynist who rejects women from the true human society and also that his characters are rudimentary, almost animal-like in nature. Although he places emphasis on masculine comradeship, he has created many subtly drawn, complex women characters who play necessary and often noble roles. This thesis will consider most of the major women characters in Steinbeck's novels and his two books of short stories and will include minor characters who uniquely illustrate important points.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Proctor, Irma Elizabeth