Abstract

Identity is a presupposed notion of individual qualities or beliefs that are inherent in one's character. However, through the application of Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogism and discourse, this thesis argues that the representations of identity found in Antigone, The Awakening, and The House of Mirth are born out of experience with society rather than something innate. Following the trail of discourse, the female protagonist in each text develops a discourse that each character remains loyal to even in the face of social adversity. While their suicides may appear to end their dialogue with society, the ethical meaning of their deaths and its reflection on their discourse shapes the future outlook of the remaining characters in each text. Moreover, by choosing death for their female protagonist, each author enters into an inferred dialogue with their audience that highlights a moral value that resonates with readers because each text is reflective of its contemporary social hierarchy and customs.

Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award

6-1-2012

Online Submission Date

May 2012

First Advisor

Dworkin, Ira

Second Advisor

Melaney, William

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

NA

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Feminism and literature -- History and criticism.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Women and literature -- History and criticism.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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