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Visions of Light In the Poetry of William Blake and Emily Dickinson

Description: In this study the author compares the broad outlines of Blake's and Dickinson's thought, pointing out evidence of decisive Biblical influence not only on the content of their thought but on their attitude toward language as well. the author argues that both poets assumed the philosophical position of Job as they interpreted the Bible independently and as they explored many dimensions of experience in the fallen world. The author represents their thought not as a fixed system but as a faith-based pattern of Christian/Platonic questing for truth.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Nuckels, Rosa Turner
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dickens in the Context of Victorian Culture: an Interpretation of Three of Dickens's Novels from the Viewpoint of Darwinian Nature

Description: The worlds of Dickens's novels and of Darwin's science reveal striking similarity in spite of their involvement in different areas. The similarity comes from the fact that they shared the ethos of Victorian society: laissez-faire capitalism. In The Origin of Species, which was published on 1859, Charles Darwin theorizes that nature has evolved through the rules of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and the struggle for existence. Although his conclusion comes from the scientific evidence that was acquired from his five-year voyage, it is clear that Dawinian nature is reflected in cruel Victorian capitalism. Three novels of Charles Dickens which were published around 1859, Bleak House, Hard Times, and Our Mutual Friend, share Darwinian aspects in their fictional worlds. In Bleak House, the central image, the Court of Chancery as the background of the novel, resembles Darwinian nature which is anti-Platonic in essence. The characters in Hard Times are divided into two groups: the winners and the losers in the arena of survival. The winners survive in Coketown, and the losers disappear from the city. The rules controlling the fates of Coketown people are the same as the rules of Darwinian nature. Our Mutual Friend can be interpreted as a matter of money. In the novel, everything is connected with money, and the relationship among people is predation to get money. Money is the central metaphor of the novel and around the money, the characters kill and are killed like the nature of Darwin in which animals kill each other. When a dominant ideology of a particular period permeates ingredients of the society, nobody can escape the controlling power of the ideology. Darwin and Dickens, although they worked in different areas, give evidence that their works are products of the ethos of Victorian England.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Moon, Sangwha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eudora Welty's "Flowers for Marjorie" : Toward the Caesura of the Unconscious

Description: Eudora Welty's short story "Flowers for Marjorie" appears in A Curtain of Green and Other Stories, her first volume of collected stories published in 1941. Since the story's publication, literary scholars have interpreted the protagonist's murder of his wife, and the unusual events that follow, in terms of somatic realities that inform the text. This thesis is a psychoanalytic rereading/rewriting of "Flowers for Maijorie" that attempts to analyze its text as a possible dream narrative. By psychoanalytically rereading/rewriting the narrative in this story as a possible dream narrative, this thesis will attempt to demonstrate how the reader might experientially break through its previous resistance to interpretation, which should encourage a better understanding of the story's narrative ambiguities. The originality of this examination lies in its detailed analysis of the story's text from a psychoanalytic economy, thus providing perhaps the most detailed analysis of its text to date.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Gowdy, Robert Douglas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Getting It On Home: Ways of Telling the Story

Description: In this collection of poems and essays, the author demonstrates two different methods for examining the same theme: the notion of "home"—how to get there, how to remain there and bear articulate witness to the forces which drive that author to write. The introduction sets forth an explanation for the use of the specific form chosen for expression, with an analysis of the intent behind that form. In these essays and poems, the author accounts for her years on the Texas Panhandle, in Montana, and a year spent teaching in Prague, Czechoslovakia. These locations furnish the moments and incidents of conflict and resolution that make up the dramatic incidents of the included material.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Vanek, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rebellion and Reconciliation: Social Psychology, Genre, and the Teen Film 1980-1989

Description: In this dissertation, I bring together film theory, literary criticism, anthropology and psychology to develop a paradigm for the study of teen films that can also be effectively applied to other areas of pop culture studies as well as literary genres. Expanding on Thomas Doherty's discussion of 1950s teen films and Ian Jarvie's study of films as social criticism, I argue that teen films are a discrete genre that appeals to adolescents to the exclusion of other groups. Teen films subvert social mores of the adult world and validate adolescent subculture by reflecting that subculture's values and viewpoints. The locus of this subversion is the means by which teenagers, through the teen films, vicariously experience anxiety-provoking adult subjects such as sexual experimentation and physical violence, particularly the extreme expressions of sex and violence that society labels taboo. Through analyzing the rhetoric of teen lifestyle films, specifically the teen romance and sex farce, I explore how the films offer teens vicarious experience of many adolescent "firsts." In addition, I claim that teen films can effectively appropriate other genres while remaining identifiable as teen films. I discuss hybrid films which combine the teen film with the science fiction genre, specifically Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and the musical genre, specifically Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Dirty Dancing. In my discussion of the slasher film, specifically the Halloween. Friday the 13th. and A Nightmare on Elm Street cycles, I highlight how teen films function as a safe place to explore the taboo. Finally, I discuss the way in which the teen film genre has evolved in the 1990s due in part to shifts in social and economic interests. The teen films of the 1990s include the viewpoints of women, minorities, the handicapped, and homosexuals and question ...
Date: December 1996
Creator: Hubbard, Christine Karen Reeves
Partner: UNT Libraries

In Awesome Wonder

Description: The dissertation is a collection of eighteen short stories. These stories relate the life experiences of the first-person narrator and chronicle a period of twenty years. They are arranged in five thematic groups: Expectations, Questions, Lighter Moments, Answers, and Separation. The focus of each one represents the narrator's experiences with his father, as the narrator attempts to understand a man who exerts such control over his life. Expectations contains three stories, with the first depicting the narrator's earliest association with his father. The other two represent significant growth experiences. The five stories in the Questions portion focus on the youthful narrator as he tries to understand the reasons behind his father's values and moral lessons. In the section, Lighter Moments, there are four stories in which the narrator is in his late teens and recalls four incidents that lacked the usual serious undertones prevalent in most of his experiences with his father. Answers is composed of three stories in which the narrator, nearing manhood, struggles with feelings of disillusionment with the life his father has planned for him, as well as the realization that his father controls every aspect of his life. The final section of three stories, Separation, depicts the narrator, a young man in his twenties with his own family, coping with the need to escape his father's control.
Date: August 1996
Creator: McMurtry, William Charlie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Friendship, Politics, and the Literary Imagination: the Impact of Franklin Pierce on Hawthorne's Works

Description: This dissertation attempts to demonstrate how Nathaniel Hawthorne's lifelong friendship with Franklin Pierce influenced the author's literary imagination, often prompting him to transform Pierce from his historical personage into a romanticized figure of notably Jacksonian qualities. It is also an assessment of how Hawthorne's friendship with Pierce profoundly influenced a wide range of his work, from his first novel, Fanshawe (1828), to the Life of Franklin Pierce (1852) and such later works as the unfinished Septimius romances and the dedicatory materials in Our Old Home (1863). This dissertation shows how Pierce became for Hawthorne a literary device—an icon of Jacksonian virtue, a token of the Democratic party, and an emblem of steadfastness, military heroism, and integrity, all three of which were often at odds with Pierce's historical character. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Hawthorne-Pierce friendship. The chapter also assesses biographical reconstructions of Pierce's character and life. Chapter 2 addresses Hawthorne's years at Bowdoin College, his introduction to Pierce, and his early socialization. Chapter 3 demonstrates how Hawthorne transformed his Bowdoin experience into formulaic Gothic narrative in his first novel, Fanshawe. Chapter 4 discusses the influence of the Hawthorne-Pierce friendship on the Life of Franklin Pierce, Hawthorne's campaign biography of his friend. The friendship, the chapter concludes, was not only a context, or backdrop to the work, but it was also a factor that affected the text significantly. Chapter 5 treats the influence of Hawthorne's camaraderie with Pierce on the author's later works, the Septimius romances and the dedicatory materials in Our Old Home. Chapter 6 illustrates how Hawthorne's continuing friendship with the controversial Pierce distanced him from many of the prominent and influential thinkers and writers of the day, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. Chapter 7 offers a final summation of the influence of Pierce ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Williamson, Richard Joseph, 1962-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Finitness and Verb-Raising in Second Language Acquisition of French by Native Speakers of Moroccan Arabic

Description: In this thesis, the three hypotheses on the nature of early L2 acquisition (the Full Transfer/Full Access view of Schwartz and Sprouse (e.g., 1996), the Minimal Trees view of Vainikka and Young-Scholten (e.g., 1996), and the Valueless Features view of Eubank (e.g., 1996)), are discussed. Analysis of the early French production by two native speakers of Moroccan Arabic is done to determine if the L1 grammar is transferred onto the L2 grammar. In particular, the phenomena of verb-raising (as determined by the verb's position vis-a-vis negation) and finiteness are examined. The results of this study indicate that the relevant structures of Moroccan Arabic do not transfer onto the emerging French grammar.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Aboutaj, Heidi H. (Heidi Huttar)
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Stately Temples": Consubstantiality and Consciousness in Frances E. W. Harper's Iola Leroy; or Shadows Uplifted

Description: The purpose of this master's thesis is to examine Frances Harper's narrative strategy and moral didacticism in Iola Leroy: or Shadows Uplifted (1892) as she strives to achieve consubstantiality and a "heightened consciousness" within her characters and her audience while adhering to the literary and feminist paradigms of the late nineteenth century. Harper identifies with her African-American male audience's dilemma of "double-consciousness" and their veil of androcentrism. She also identifies with her Euro-American female audience's delicate and matriarchal roles, while also attempting to uplift their position of the "Other" to the "One." Finally, with her African-American female audience, Harper identifies with their complex situatedness of "double-consciousness" and the "Other," while also attempting to uplift them from a historically imposed position of selflessness to one of empowerment.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Louis-Ray, Deborah
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Nobody knows, so still it flows"—The Discourse of Water in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Description: Emily Dickinson's use of water as a dominant poetic trope differs from typical religious archetypal associations with baptism, cleansing, and rebirth. Dickinson transforms rather than recapitulates established theological concepts, borrowing and adapting Biblical themes to suit her artistic purposes. Dickinson's water poems are the poet's means of initiating a discourse with God. Dickinson's poems, however, portray the poet's seeking communion and finding only a silent response to her attempts to initiate an exchange with God. Unable to find requital to her needs for discourse, Dickinson uses Biblical imagery to vindicate ultimately abandoning the orthodox tenets of Calvinism. Resenting the unresponsiveness of God, particularly if the solitude she experiences has been imposed through His will rather than her own, Dickinson poetically reverses roles with God to establish her autonomy, looking instead to the reader of her poetry to requite her need for discourse. And as interaction is seen as a need that Dickinson must have realized, poetry may then be understood as the poet's invitation of the reader into the discourse she finds lacking in God. Refuting Calvinist doctrines allows the poet to validate her autonomy as well. Instead of following a course of life prescribed by God, Dickinson demonstrates her resistance to suppliance through water. Dickinson refuses to follow God's guidance unquestioningly because merely being part of a collective who follow an indifferent god provides no lasting distinction for a poet seeking immortality. Having broken the union with God and established her god-like identity as a poet, Dickinson turns to the similar use of Biblical language in her poetry to establish the communion with her reader that she finds lacking in her relationship with God. Dickinson then strengthens this bond with the reader by asserting that divinity is present in every individual not suppressed by the restraining presence of God.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Price, Kenneth Robert, 1962-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Agolmirth Conspiracy

Description: Written in the tradition of the classic spy novels of Ian Fleming and the detective novels of Raymond Chandler, The Agolmirth Conspiracy represents the return to the thriller of its traditional elements of romanticism, humanism, fast-moving action, and taut suspense, and a move away from its cynicism and dehumanization as currently practiced by authors such as John Le Carre' and Tom Clancy. Stanford Torrance, an ex-cop raised on "old-fashioned" notions of uncompromising good and naked evil and largely ignorant of computer systems and high-tech ordinance, finds himself lost in a "modern" world of shadowy operatives, hidden agendas, and numerous double-crosses. He is nevertheless able to triumph over that world when he puts his own honor, his own dignity, and his very life on the line, proving to himself and to his adversaries that such things can still make things easier to see amid today's swirling moral fog.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Elston, James C. (James Cary)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Death and the Concept of Woman's Value in the Novels of Jane Austen

Description: Jane Austen sprinkles deaths throughout her novels as plot devices and character indicators, but she does not tackle death directly. Yet death pervades her novels, in a subtle yet brutal way, in the lives of her female characters. Austen reveals that death was the definition and the destiny of women; it was the driving force behind the social and economic constructs that ruled the eighteenth-century woman's life, manifested in language, literature, religion, art, and even in a woman's doubts about herself. In Northanger Abbey Catherine Morland discovers that women, like female characters in gothic texts, are written and rewritten by the men whose language dominates them. Catherine herself becomes an example of real gothic when she is silenced and her spirit murdered by Henry Tilney. Marianne Dashwood barely escapes the powerful male constructs of language and literature in Sense and Sensibility. Marianne finds that the literal, maternal, wordless language of women counts for nothing in the social world, where patriarchal,figurative language rules, and in her attempt to channel her literal language into the social language of sensibility, she is placed in a position of more deadly nothingness, cast by society as a scorned woman and expected to die. Fanny Price in Mansfield Park is sacrificed as Eve, but in her death-like existence and in her rise to success she echoes Christ, who is ultimately a maternal figure that encapsulates the knowledge of the goddess, the knowledge that from death will come life. Emma Woodhouse in Emma discovers that her perfection, sanctioned by artistic standards, is really a means by which society eases its fears about death by projecting death onto women as a beautiful ideal. In Persuasion, Anne Elliotfindsthat women endure death while men struggle against it, and this endurance requires more courage than most men possess or understand. Austen's ...
Date: December 1996
Creator: Moring, Meg Montgomery, 1961-
Partner: UNT Libraries