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The Development of Myth in Post-World-War-II American Novels

Description: Most primitive mythologies recognize that suffering can provide an opportunity for growth, but Western man has developed a mythology in which suffering is considered evil. He conceives of some power in the universe which will oppose evil and abolish it for him; God, and more recently science an, technology, were the hoped-for saviors that would rescue him. Both have been disappointing as saviors, and Western culture seems paralyzed by its confrontation with a future which seems death-filled. The primitive conception of death as that through which one passes in initiatory suffering has been unavailable because the mythologies in which it was framed are outdated. However, some post-World-War-II novels are reflecting a new mythology which recognizes the threat of death as the terrifying face the universe shows during initiation. A few of these novels tap deep psychological sources from which mythical images traditionally come and reflect the necessity of the passage through the hell of initiation without hope of a savior. One of the best of these is Wright Morris's The Field of Vision, in which the Scanlon story is a central statement of the mythological ground ahead. This gripping tale uses the pioneer journey west to tell of the mysterious passage the unconscious can make through the ccntempoorary desert to win the bride of life. It serves as an illuminator and normative guide for evaluating how other novels avoid or confront the initiatory hell. By the Scanlon standard, some contemporary mythology is escapist. Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Cat's Cradle express the youthful desire to arrive almost automatically at a new age, either with help from a new Christ or through practicing a simplistic morality. Other novels tell of the agony of modern Grail questers who sense that a viable myth is possible, but ...
Date: August 1974
Creator: Hall, Larry Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries

John Fowles: a Critical Study

Description: This critical introduction to the works of John Fowles focuses upon his three novels, with secondary attention to his poetry, essays, and The Aristos, his non-fiction book of personal philosophy. Giving some biographical detail, the first chapter treats the influence of other writers upon Fowles's work and discusses his thought--especially as it appears in The Aristos, the poems, and the essays. The second chapter is a study of The Magus, Fowles's first novel, although published second. The Aristos is especially important to an understanding of this consolidation of personal philosophy into a fictional structure; the two key influences upon The Magus are Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes and Jungian psychology. The third chapter deals with The Collector, revealing much of Fowles's feeling about the artist in society and the imbalance of social justice that spawns ignorance and cruelty. The fourth chapter examines his most successful novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, unusual for its combination of thematic modernity with Victorian narrative style. The final chapter summarizes Fowles's leading place in contemporary fiction three months before publication of The Ebony Tower, his forthcoming collection including four short stories and one novella. Fowles's fiction has established him among the finest of today's artists in British fiction and one of the leading writers in the world. Both critical and general readers have accepted his three novels with enthusiasm, and his distinctive poetry and essays may someday further enhance his reputation.
Date: August 1974
Creator: Huffaker, Robert, 1936-
Partner: UNT Libraries

"A Straunge Kinde of Harmony": The Influence of Lyric Poetry and Music on Prosodic Techniques in the Spenserian Stanza

Description: An examination of the stanzas of The Faerie Queene reveals a structural complexity that prosodists have not previously discovered. In the prosody of Spenser's epic, two formal prosodic orders function simultaneously. One is the visible structure that has long been acknowledged and studied, eight decasyllabic lines and an alexandrine bound into a coherent entity by a set meter and rhyme scheme. The second is an order made apparent by an oral reading and which involves speech stresses, syntactical groupings, caesura placements, and enjambments. In an audible reading, elements are revealed that oppose the structural integrity of the visible form. The lines cease to be iambic, because most lines contain some irregularities that are incongruent with the meter. The visible structure is further counterpointed by Spenser's free use of caesura and frequent employment of enjambment to create a constantly varying structure of different line lengths in the audible form. This study also examines precedents that Spenser could have known for the union of music and poetry. English lyric poetry written for existing melodies is analyzedand the French experiments with quantitative verse supported with musical settings are discussed. Special emphasis is given to the musical associations of the Orlando furioso, particularly its relation to the tradition of singing narrative poetry to folk melodies. Internal support for the thesis that Spenser deliberately employed musical techniques in his prosody comes from his use of the Tudor masque in the structure of the epic. Evidence is offered to show that the processional masque is the unifying foundation for the whole of The Faerie Queene, A characteristic of the sixteenth-century masque was its combination of art forms, and Spenser found a method for integrating the arts of music and literature. Spenser uses musical techniques in the prosody that he could have expected would echo musical experiences ...
Date: August 1972
Creator: Corse, Larry B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Linguistics, Pedagogy, and Freshman Composition

Description: The teaching of freshman composition can be a challenging and exciting endeavor if teachers are aware of current linguistic facts about the nature of language variations manifested by their students and the linguistic shortcomings of many textbooks. Awareness of the distinction of linguistic competence and linguistic performance can aid teachers in making freshman composition more realistic to students. These concepts are technically explained in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax by Noam Chomsky (1965), and are applied to dialect for teachers of composition by the Committee on CCCC Language Statement in Students' Right to Their Own Language (1974). With knowledge of linguistic principles, teachers can respond to their students' dialects humanistically and realistically and can teach academic English without making impressionistic and incorrect statements about non-academic variations from their students.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Wright, Richard Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Definition of Brackenridge's "Modern Chivalry"

Description: Early American writer Hugh Henry Brackenridge conceived and developed a code of modern chivalry in his writings that culminated in the long prose satire Modern Chivalry. He first introduced his code in the poem "The Modern Chevalier," in which a modern knight is shown traveling about the country in an attempt to understand and correct the political absurdities of the people. In Modern Chivalry, this code is developed in the three major themes of rationalism, morality, and moderation and the related concern that man recognize his proper place in society. Satire is Brackenridge's weapon as well as the primary aesthetic virtue of his novel. The metaphor of modern chivalry serves to tie the various elements of the rambling book into a unified whole.
Date: December 1979
Creator: Alexander, Teresa L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Poetic Voice and the Romantic Tradition in the Poetry of Maxine Kumin

Description: The purpose of this study is to explore elements of the Romantic tradition in the poetry of Maxine Kumin and the poetic voice of Ms. Kumin as she writes in this tradition. The poet's choice of poetic-persona illustrates a growth of the consciousness, an identity of self. Of particular interest is the poet's close interaction with nature and use of natural symbols and images. A principal motif in Kumin's poetry is the common man. Another theme is the poet's role in the family. In poems exalting nature and the person who lives in simple and close interaction with nature, a number of men from the past and present are subjects of Kumin's poetry.
Date: December 1979
Creator: Barton, Beverly D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Theories of Stress Assignment in Spanish Phonology

Description: This thesis examines existing theories of Spanish stress assignment in generative phonology and proposes an alternative theory that is more effective in predicting the surface representations of Spanish stress. Stress is characterized according to traditional textbook standards and examples are given (Chapter I). The current theoretical setting, especially the theories of James W. Harris, is then described (Chapter II). This writer's own theory, based upon an underlying distinction between tense and lax vowels, is delineated (Chapter III) and defended (Chapter IV). The new stress assignment rule--along with a rule of vowel laxing before a word boundary (#) and a rule of stress adjustment--shows stress in Spanish to be predictable and, therefore, not phonemic.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Garner, Kathryn C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Spinster and Flabby Lucy

Description: Many contemporary writers maintain that a prime requisite of poetry is autobiographical sincerity. They would have the poet commit himself to an openness with his audience that is usually reserved for only the most intimate relationships. The thirty-two poems of this thesis were written as a reaction to current confessional trends and postulate that the creation of fictions to live by is an intrinsic part of the human process. Central to the work is the idea that past fictions, traditions, and myths are no longer functional, and no workable fictions have yet been created. The overriding image of the work is that of a dance in a mirrored room where illusion and reflection are difficult to separate from reality and where the dancers move without knowledge of the meaning of their movement.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Angel, Shelly
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Group

Description: This is an original, serious, three-act play for eleven characters. The drama focuses on a group therapy situation involving three women patients, two men patients, and their therapist. Flashbacks are utilized to provide knowledge of the characters' pasts. Role playing, dream analysis, and behavior modification are some of the tools employed by the counselor. While the therapist does utilize these techniques adequately, his own personal problems prevent him from being as effective as he might be. Consequently, at least two of the characters are propelled to their own destruction, possibly as a result of the therapist's failure. Of course, the possibility does remain that they would have chosen the same paths without the counselor's influence.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Highburger, Vivian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Alienating Characters in the Fiction of John Steinbeck

Description: The primary purpose of this study is to show that John Steinbeck's concern with alienation is pervasive and consistent from the beginning of his career as a writer until the end. The pervasiveness of his concern with alienation is demonstrated by examining his two early collections of short stories and by showing how alienated characters in these stories resemble alienated characters in all the author's major works of fiction. Since much confusion surrounds the meaning of the word "alienation," it is necessary to begin with a definition of "alienation" as it is used to discuss Steinbeck. An alienated character in Steinbeck's fiction is a person who is separated from another person, group of persons, society, or the person's ideal self. This study is concerned with characters who create their own alienation rather than with those who are merely helpless victims.
Date: May 1974
Creator: McDaniel, Barbara Albrecht
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Posthumous Narrative Poems of C. S. Lewis

Description: The purpose of this study is to introduce the three posthumous narrative poems of C. S. Lewis. Chapter One is an introduction to Lewis's life and scholarship. The second chapter is concerned with "Launcelot," in which the central theme of the story explores the effect of the Quest for the Holy Grail on King Arthur's kingdom. Chapter Three studies "The Nameless Isle," in which Celtic and Greek mythic elements strongly influence both characterization and plot. The fourth chapter is an analysis of The Queen of Drum and its triangular plot structure in which the motivating impetus of the characters is the result of dreams. Chapter Five recapitulates Lewis's perspectives of life and reviews the impact of his Christianity on the poems. The study also shows how each poem illustrates a separate aspect of the cosmic quest.
Date: December 1976
Creator: Geer, Caroline L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Parallax Motif in Ulysses

Description: This study is a detailed textual examination of the word "parallax" in Ulysses. It distinguishes three levels of meaning for the word in the novel. In the first level, parallax functions as a character motif, a detail, first appearing in and conforming to the realistic surface of Bloom's inner monologue, whose meaning is what it tells of his crucial problems of identity. In the second, parallax functions as an integral part of the symbolic complex, lying outside of Bloom's perceptions, surrounding the emblem of crossed keys, symbol of, among other things, paternity and homerule, two major narrative themes. The third level involves parallax as a symbol informing the novel's overriding theme of the writing of Ulysses itself and of the relationship between the novel's representative life and artistic design.
Date: May 1979
Creator: Freeman, Theodore Jeffery
Partner: UNT Libraries

Empty Pockets: Poems with an Introduction

Description: This thesis is composed of a collection of thirty-four original poems with an introduction by the author. The introduction attempts to justify the collection by discussing common influences and techniques employed in its creation. The introduction also supplies background information on each poem and, on occasion, discusses the relation of a poem to the rest of the collection.
Date: December 1976
Creator: Morgan, William Bradford
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thundershowers: A Novella, with a Commentary

Description: Thundershowers, an original novella, represents one person's perception of relationships between women and men. The first-person narrator, Anna Slone, records her limited observations of married and unmarried couples while she pursues her own involvement with a man. She observes nothing admirable in any of the relationships between men and women in the story, and her own romance falls short of her expectations. The only nurturing love that she records passes between herself and two other women, her mother and a friend. Thundershowers is not meant to be a suggestion that all woman-man relationships are soulless or that real love can exist only between women. Set in a Colorado resort, the action focuses on several concurrent love-interests, including a faltering marriage, a traditional marriage, the engagement of two young lovers, a lighthearted sexual affair, and the short-lived but painful romance of Anna and a man whom she meets at the resort.
Date: August 1979
Creator: Butts, Nina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Existentialism and Darwinism in The French Lieutenant's Woman

Description: Existentialism and Darwinism provide a means of viewing the development of personal freedom in a young English gentleman, Charles Smithson. Guided by Sarah Woodruff, a social outcast, Charles approaches freedom through the existential conditions of terror, anguish, and despair; he encounters alienation, human finitude, and the loss of a relationship with God on the way. The realization of his trapped state is aided by the Darwinian analogy present in the novel: the monied leisure class to which Charles belongs is presented as the species approaching extinction because it fails to make the changes necessary to survive changed conditions. The novel's two endings combine existential and Darwinian elements to present to Charles the choice that can help him escape his trapped state and gain freedom.
Date: August 1977
Creator: Lee, Cynthia Bullock
Partner: UNT Libraries

Marriage in the Fiction of Willa Cather

Description: The marriages depicted in Willa Cather's fiction are a crucial element of her works. Although she does not describe in detail the marital relationships between her characters, Cather does depict these marriages realistically, and they are also interrelated with the major themes of her fiction. The marriages in Cather's works are divided into three general classifications: the successful, the borderline, and the failure. The successful marriage is characterized by affection and friendship. In the borderline marriages the partners are mutually dissatisfied with their relationship, but they do not separate or divorce. The marital failures are complete breakdowns that result in irreparable wounds healed only by the complete withdrawal or death of one of the partners. A study of marriage in Cather's works reveals there are more successful marriages than failures.
Date: August 1977
Creator: Dickson, Margaret P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Grandpa" and Other Stories

Description: These sketches and stories are the result of moods, daydreams, and experiences. The collection progresses from those intimate stories controlled by personal experience to the last two works which try to crystallize a mood or experience in a medium without the device of first person. "Grandpa," "Great-Grandpa," and "Weedgod" are sketches which describe the boundary between what things are and what things seem to be. "Aunt Mary," "Hospital," and "Eggy Cooter" are short stories presenting situations in which the reader can determine this boundary line himself.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Winterbauer, Arthur E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ann Radcliffe: A Study in Popular Literary Taste

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Novelist as Critic: Thackeray's Concept of the Novel

Description: This study is primarily concerned with the formulation of Thackeray's theory of the novel through a thorough investigation of his various reviews and critiques of Victorian fiction which appeared in periodicals and by a careful examination of his letters, By evaluating the numerous comments on particular works of fiction and on the art of "novel-spinning" in general which came from Thackeray's pen, this study investigates the various Thackerayan ideas as to how novels should be written with regard to the function of the novel, the formulation of plot and character, realism and morality, the presentation of description, and the style in which novels were to be written. This investigation concludes that Thackeray's theory of the novel was that novels were to be written in a simple, straightforward style and were to present "living" characters who performed realistic, believable actions within tightly unified, logical plots in such a manner as to provide entertainment and to reaffirm the Victorian moral code.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Worden, Larry L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Selected Poems: Does This Pen Write?

Description: This thesis is a collection of poetry written between 1970 and 1975. The quality of the poems is admittedly uneven, but the inclusion of earlier, weaker poems may indicate a progression in the areas of flexibility, control of material, and strength of poetic voice. The poems are arranged into five sections, entitled "Love," "Rabbits," Poetry about Poetry," "Religion and Ancestors," and "Henry. Poems collected here are intended to demonstrate that experimentation with various forms contributes to an increased ability to control poetic material and technique. By confining a poem to particular forms, one is forced to be more creative, imaginative, and exact. Both control and flexibility are important in contemporary poetry, and my hope is that the following poems demonstrate a balance of those qualities.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Shaw, Delora V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Imagism and Modern Painting on the Early Floral Poetry of William Carlos Williams

Description: The following three chapters identify influences of the Imagist movement and the avant garde painters on the early poetry of Williams, and particularly on those poems that deal with flowers. This study is restricted to the earlier poems for several reasons, the most obvious being that Williams simply does not employ floral imagery to any extent in The Collected Later Poems. For instance, of the almost three hundred poems in The Collected Earlier Poems nearly sixty take flowers as their title or rely on floral imagery for part of their power. Nearly half that many use arboreal imagery, another prominent and important "object" in Williams' poetry, and, of course, many more use other images from the natural world. On the other hand, in The Collected Later Poems only three poems have flowers in their titles. Even in these three Williams was more interested in depicting sociological situations than in description, for his conception of poetry changed radically after the 1930's. He became convinced at that time that poetry should be serious rather than entertaining. Further, he became a staunch advocate of the "anti-poetic" theory of beauty whose chief tenet was that beauty and ugliness were part of a single whole. Nothing beautiful, like a flower, could exist without its soil of ugly, drab antecedents. James Guimond believes that this is the reason why Williams ceased presenting "his beautiful objects in splendid, static isolation from time and the world around them" (1, p. 50). Possibly 14 for these reasons the nature imagery is not nearly so dominant in these poems as in those written before 1940. Nor has the poetry of Paterson or Pictures from Breugel been included in this study. Because of the tremendous attention given them in the last five years, their nature imagery has been well covered. However, ...
Date: December 1973
Creator: Trogdon, Lezlie Laws
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tulseytown

Description: The five stories contained in the thesis show the changes that take place in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the narrator of the stories, Lucius. The first story, "Getting Ready," depicts a society that builds absurd monuments to itself. The other stories, "Dog Days," "The Narwhal in the Arkansas," "Mayflies," and "The Razing of the Brown & Duncan Building," show the society's deepening commitment to the absurd. Insane actions are condoned by the society as long as they do not threaten the society's equilibrium; acts of madness that conform to the society's norms are tolerated. Finally, the society becomes so immersed in its own absurdity that the pointless destruction of monuments to the society begins. Through this world of random slaughter wanders Lucius, the survivor. He survives by remaining detached, autonomous, and static.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Shreve, Donald Hiatt
Partner: UNT Libraries

"A Grace Beyond the Reach of Art:" A Study of the Literary and Biographical Influences Upon Thomas Gray and His Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Description: This study focuses on the poetic temperament of Thomas Gray and considers his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard as representative of a change in sensibility which took place roughly in the last half of the eighteenth century. The first chapter considers the literary and biographical influences on the author's changing aesthetic sensibility. The second chapter concerns the early life and education of Gray and his friendship with Walpole and West. The third chapter is a study of the Elegy itself and how it represents the poetic and aesthetic ideas of the author and the age in which he lived. In the concluding chapter Gray is considered as a transitional figure whose work embodies unresolved tensions between the Neoclassic and the Romantic.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Sosbee, Geral W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Emergence of the Grotesque Hero in the Contemporary American Novel, 1919-1972

Description: This study shows how the Grotesque Hero evolves from the grotesque victim in selected American novels from 1919 to 1972. In these novels, contradictory forces create a cultural dilemma. When a character is especially vulnerable to that dilemma, he becomes caught and twisted into a grotesque victim. The Grotesque Hero finds a solution to the dilemma, not by escaping his grotesque victimization, but by accepting it and making it work for him. The novels paired according to a particular contradictory dilemma include: Winesburg, Ohio and The Crying of Lot 49, As I Lay Dying and Wise Blood, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Dick Gibson Show, Cabot Wright Begins and Second Skin, The Day of the Locust and The Lime Twig, and Expensive People and The Sunlight Dialogues.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Reed, Max R.
Partner: UNT Libraries