• Mute Llama

      Ober, Richard Holmes; Soos, Frank; Bishop, Wendy; Perkins, Leroy (1988-09)
      The novella Mute Llama and the short story "The Keeper of Dogs" "both deal with the role that the imagination plays in the articulation of reality through symbols. At its core, this is an issue which involves the very essence of the creation of fictive worlds. In both pieces, the protagonist is engaged in a second-person, internal soliloquy as he is confronted with the startling fluidity of the "real" world of objects. When the objective world is encountered by an active imagination, as it is by each of us every day, the result is a reality that is created, rather than simply observed. The protagonist of each of these pieces comes to this realization and discovers that it produces both existential despair and self-empowerment. In the end, this paradox is central to the understanding of postmodernist art.
    • Rivers From The Air

      Odden, Mary Elaine; Soos, Frank; Bartlett, D. A.; Morgan, John (1995)
      This is a collection of creative non-fiction essays. They are triggered by events and persons from my life's experiences, but I hope they shed light on experiences I share with others: coming of age, mothering, probing relationships with nature, understanding and misunderstanding strangers and friends. The Anglo-Saxons believed that to see something was to cast a shaping light upon it, rather than passively accepting what "is." I like that, and it follows, for me, that writing is an active kind of seeing that casts itself in stone here and there like children playing "statues." The whole thing is moving and changing, of course, and can't really be seen. But trying to see it is my idea of what we are here for. <p>
    • Culture And Empire: Rudyard Kipling's Indian Fiction

      Grekowicz, Eric John; Blalock, Susan (1996)
      A survey of Rudyard Kipling's Indian fiction indicates that his writings reflect a deeply-felt ambivalence toward the imperial projects of his contemporaries. Kipling condemns British characters who denigrate Indians or India, and in doing so, he subverts the Victorian notion of Britain's innate superiority. Kipling's early fiction reveals the author's respect for Eastern culture and religion. His India represents a utopic vision of cultural mixing. An anthropological perspective on these stories shows that the Indian fiction is designed to create cross-cultural communication. Kipling illustrates how failure to understand India ultimately destroys the British, and by attacking many of the injustices of imperialism, he fosters an atmosphere condusive to the synthesis of cultures. Kipling's ultimate enterprise is to promote tolerance of difference through understanding and respect of the other. <p>
    • Author as ethnographer: The merging of genres in Raymond Carver's and Thomas Pynchon's texts

      Snyder, Megan Dawn; Bird, Roy K. (1999)
      Several of Raymond Carver's short stories and two of Thomas Pynchon's novels are analyzed for their ability to function as ethnography, through which they reveal the dominant and dominated codes in American culture. These texts were approached from an interdisciplinary stance, using theories and concepts from literary criticism, cultural anthropology, and sociology in order to interpret them with a greater degree of accuracy; because the text is treated as an ethnographic representation of a culture, it is possible to turn to it as the sole illustration of cultural elements and, in doing so, to be more open to addressing themes that the text explicates, rather than approaching the it with a preconceived agenda of what necessarily constructs American culture. By focusing in this manner on Carver's and Pynchon's texts as accounts of what is to be "American," it is possible to remain closer to what the texts portray and to avoid misreadings as well as misinterpretations of culture. Through these authors' representations of characters who defy mainstream cultural codes, the reader encounters in these authors' works what mainstream America finds most unsettling: characters who are not only alienated, but also aware of their status as outsiders and, more frequently than not, choose to embrace deviance in their self-definitions. Carver and Pynchon, when taken together, afford the reader with a vision of our culture that explores the dissociation and alienation that cuts through our society regardless of class or background. In their varying presentations of reality, they offer complementary views of distinct American subcultures that feature characters who are isolated and who generally denounce mainstream ideals. Conformist society is merely hinted at within the texts; its presence appears through its absence, characters' recognition of what they are denying, and what characters are denied. Both authors feature characters who identify aberrant behavior, for which rule-breaking individuals are labeled. Characters, once labeled, adopt secondary deviance and instigate a deviant career, from which the authors rarely permit a reprieve. The effect of labeling is the creation of a schism in the social fabric of American culture, which is characterized by the societal exclusion of individuals who do not uphold the dominant beliefs. American culture is also characterized by assimilation; as characters in Carvers and Pynchon's texts resist this process, they pose a threat to the social order, which is the prime factor in their labeling.
    • "A woman is either a lady or not": the influence of mothers on daughters in William Faulkner's "As I lay dying" and "The sound of the fury"

      Dassinger, Kristine Robyn; Heyne, Eric; Corti, Lillian; Bird, Roy K. (2000-05)
      William Faulkner, in 'As I lay dying' and 'The sound of the fury, ' illustrates the relationship between parents and children within a disintegrating social structure. Not only does the father pass his misogynistic views onto his sons and daughters, but the mother also acts as an agent, perpetuating patriarchal order. Although Addie Bundren discovers that her identity is not defined in male terms, she fails to educate her daughter, Dewey Dell. Rather than struggle against her environment, Addie chooses to die, leaving Dewey Dell alone with her father and brothers. Caroline Compson preserves the patriarchal structures within her life by submitting to her father's definition of women. She then teaches this rigid view to Caddy and little Quentin. Through these failed mother and daughter relationships, Faulkner illustrates how families in the South are destroyed from within.
    • Carpenters daughter

      Osier, Jill N. (2000-05)
      Carpenter's Daughter reveals the construction and reconstruction a woman understands her life to be. Acknowledging the creation of identity through the tools of history, memory, dream, and imagination, it further explores where these worlds converge at different points along the path from child to girl to woman. The poems are equally concerned with dynamics beyond a sense of self--particularly how things come together and come apart. In both the realm of nature and that of human emotion, the speakers are confronted by tenuous connections and surprising holds, moved by the frailties lying beneath solid foundations and the grace witnessed in failing frames. Though several poems use formal patterns of line or stanza, most work in free verse and are driven by narrative, image, or voice. These also provide thematic links throughout the collection, their echoes serving to fully present ideas as well as celebrate sound.
    • Where everything is music: the influence of Arthur Schopenhauer on Frederic and Kate Chopin

      Oakley, Bernard H. (2000-05)
      The influence of Arthur Schopenhauer's aesthetic philosophy on Harold Frederic's "The damnation of Theron Ware" and Kate Chopin's "The awakening" is studied. Although Chopin's indebtedness to Schopenhauer is well established, the influence on Frederic's novel has not yet been revealed. This thesis develops "original readings of 'The damnation of Theron Ware' that challenge and clarify existing interpretations."
    • Empty hands

      Allsbrook-Javier, Wendy Lee (2000-05)
      At the center of 'Empty Hands' Ruth, abandoned mother of two, works through World War II as a spinner in an eastern North Carolina cloth mill. She struggles to raise two daughters, one six, and one seventeen, pregnant and unmarried. As a result of the town's ostracism, Ruth seeks new community with Sophie, another woman living outside of the town's boundaries and favor. The story emerges through multiple points of view including those of the four women and also those of Jinson Toole, a black tobacco farmer, and Harlin Lowe, a white citified outsider. Structurally, the novel is bracketed by fires that occur on the same night and serve to evoke the town's character and its relations with those on the outskirts of community. Themes are woven throughout that move each of the novel's primary characters: the absence of knowing, the presence of emptiness, the reality of empty hands.
    • Small dreams

      Porter, Thomas Albert (2000-05)
      Body and language -- these are the two essential means by which we communicate. It is through these that we attempt to connect to each other and through these that we attempt to move away from the isolation of the self. This collection of stories is concerned with the ways in which people use body and language in order to make such connections -- both to others and to self -- as well as the extent to which these connections serve as a means of defining self. Divided into three sections, the first section deals with initial attempts to reach out from the self. The second section deals with such attempts as they endure, and the third and final section deals with such attempts as they fail or come to an end.
    • Skinning the beast

      Khera, Susheila Maria (2000-05)
      Each of the main characters in these stories must deal with a personal beast which forces the character to confront a weakness, flaw, or memory. The characters must subsequently deal with the positive or negative results of the confrontation. The process of writing these stories included experimenting with different points of view, in an attempt to make the stories as credible as possible. Time was another important element in this attempt. While some stories are better situated only in the present, others need flashbacks to substantiate the character's actions and reasoning.
    • "The winter's tale": Leontes' derangement and the chronotope of melancholy

      Wood, David Houston (2000-05)
      To recent critical formulations regarding melancholy and its role in the Renaissance humoral body, this project contributes the argument that melancholy's trajectory from its natural to its unnatural state carries with it a fundamental shift in temporal-senses. I illustrate this shift through close analysis of Leontes' derangement in Shakespeare's 'The winter's tale.' Based on Renaissance physiological texts, as well as modern psychoanalytic, anthropological, and gender studies, I explore how melancholy's inherent volatility signifies the masculine anxieties of early modern English patriarchy. I argue that melancholy's bifurcated temporal-senses serve to clarify the subjectivity of Renaissancee passions.
    • Imagining Alaska

      Zbailey, Suzanne (2000-05)
      'I'd never felt part of something big before, ' says the character of Helen near the end of 'Imagining Alaska.' Each of the protagonists in this collection of three stories and a novella strives to become part of something they imagine is greater than themselves. For example, in 'Naked, ' Veronica's desire to be taken seriously as an artist leads her to an affair with a painter, while the lawyer in 'Sweet Country Song' projects her wish for a change in her life onto a cowboy. Meanwhile, Agnes in 'St. Agnes of the Mermaids' struggles with her religious beliefs, and Helen in the title novella tries to forge a life for herself as a young widow in Alaska. The pieces are told from either the first-person or limited third-person point-of-view, so that the reader progresses through the same act of discovery the protagonist does, until both reach a final moment of revelation
    • Variations on a theme: the Benjy section of 'The sound and the fury' in black and white, color and hypertext

      Porter, Thomas Albert (2000-05)
      The Benjy section of William Faulkner's 'The sound and the fury' presents reader's with a shattered chronology. Meaning, in the original, arises from the reader's internal creation of a linear chronology, the internal linking of discreet events into larger sequences of events. Applying color to the section along chronological lines allows for the reader to assemble a more coherent chronology of the section internally by allowing for more easily intuited links. Transforming the Benjy section into a hypertext incorporates the links between Events directly. These three variations, black and white print, color print, and hypertext all demonstrate and highlight different aspects of the section's inherent complications, as well as demonstrating that the original text's abandonment of traditional narrative time was a serious and direct challenge to the medium of print itself.
    • Salt Lake speed seduction

      Ferguson, Dean A. (2000-08)
      This satirical novel is written in first person and alternates between two story lines: a present tense story and a past tense one. It follows characters who are living the Gen X. life: low paying jobs, lots of drugs, lots of sex, and an unearned sense of superiority. Their search for direction and meaning in a society that is increasingly voyeuristic and paranoid illustrates the futility of such a journey in late 20th century America. The main character's placement as the accidental leader of a cult makes him the target of governmental aggression. The opposition of religious institutions, local and state governments, and the media forces these characters to reject mainstream attitudes and assumptions.
    • Women, culture, and identity in Kate Chopin's 'The awakening' and Assia Djebar's 'Ombre sultane'

      Hutchison, Shayle M. (2000-12)
      Beginning with the assumption that women of all cultures experience a conflict between their culturally prescribed gender roles and their individual sexual desires, I comparie the characters Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening' with Isma and Hajila of Assia Djebar's 'Ombre Sultane.' Each woman undergoes a process of awakening body consciousness that leads to her first experience of desire, an essential link between physical and mental consciousness. The expression of female desire conflicts with prescribed cultural behavior. Each character also moves away from her family and cultural roots, thus assuring herself a necessary distance for rebellion against social standards. However, of all three women, only Isma from 'Ombre Sultane' is able to return to her community, successfully resolving the conflict between gender and individual desire.
    • Border patrol

      Iseri, Erica Keiko (2000-12)
      'Border Patrol deals with people across geographical as well as cultural and linguistic lines.' So reads a sentence from the penultimate story of this thesis. While the main characters are all either Japanese or Japanese-American, and they live in Japan or Southern California or Fairbanks, Alaska, the stories explore such universal issues of love, obligation, and freedom. The characters' ethnicity and place serve mainly to inform the larger themes. The point of view from which the stories are told varies from story to story, from a young third person female to a middle-aged first person male. The amount of time in which the stories take place differs as well, from minutes to decades. The stories themselves, though, concern the characters' struggle for independence from constricting relationships and a search for identity through a passion--golf, music, origami. The line between dependence and inner strength is the border that they walk.
    • African rooster

      Lybrook, Christian David (2001-05)
      'African Rooster' takes place in Lesotho, a tiny country surrounded by South Africa at a time of considerable tension. In 1994, South Africa is in the infancy of its democracy and Lesotho is thrown into turmoil with its own coup d'état. John David ("Jed") Kendall, a white, middle-class American, is thrown into this world as a nominal missionary balancing his own cultural and moral baggage with African sensibilities. My first choice of first person narrative allows for an examination of racial and cultural questions in African society without my narrator having to assume an air of authority that a third person might convey. It also allows more sympathy with Jed's sometimes unsympathetic character. Thematic notions of loyalty, justice, and racism propel the principal relationship between Jed/Senate and his 'brother, ' Tsediso. Their interactions become the primary vehicle for examining cultural, racial, and moral conflicts within Jed
    • S = k log W: and other stories

      Kostival, Benjamin C. (2001-05)
      The short stories in this collection explore how work and ideas affect human freedom. This exploration takes place in some context of collapse - economic, philosophical, and sociological. Conflict arises from the protagonists' struggles to extricate themselves from feelings of entrapment and powerlessness. The collection also claims science as legitimate literary subject matter. The text directly includes mathematics in an attempt to employ western literature's last unused language for its metaphorical import. Structurally, the two sections are composed of equal numbers of stories of virtually equal length, suggesting parity between the scientific stories of the first section and the more traditional stories of the second. Moreover, the order of the stories is determined by a 'mirrored resolution' aesthetic in that each story of the second section resolves its conflict similarly to its pair in the first.
    • One woman's land

      Glasoe, Sydney Caroline (2001-05)
      'One woman's land' is an essay collection that explores how place shapes identity and reciprocally how such marked individuals influence their land, family, and community. The essays are memoir and use the author's family farm in northwestern North Dakota as a vehicle to illuminate the dynamics of farming families and their rural communities when the work on which both survive is at once inclusive and a way of life. Each essay remains separate in narrative and structure, but the themes addressed are recursive and reflect upon other sections. The essays remain linked in that they create a social history that seeks to define a rural lifestyle holding an increasingly fragile existence in American identity.