You are here

compass of human will in realism and fantasy

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
As realist and naturalist writers at the turn of the twentieth century adopted a scientific spirit of objectivity, they reflected the emphasis many contemporary scientific studies laid on the forces of the natural world in shaping the character, behavior, and ultimate destiny of man. In this literary mood of "pessimistic determinism," fantasy literature began to experience a resurgence, providing a marked contrast to naturalism's portrayal of the impotence of man to effect change in his circumstances. I examine fantasy's restoration of efficacy to the human will through a study of two representative works of the opposing genres: Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie and Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter. As I demonstrate, the former naturalistic novel emphasizes the impotence of its characters in the face of powerful natural world, while the latter contemporary fantasy novel uniquely showcases man's ability to effect change in his world and his destiny.
Title: The compass of human will in realism and fantasy: a reading of Sister Carrie and The King of Elfand's Daugher.
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Stone, Tracy.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: v, 62 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: As realist and naturalist writers at the turn of the twentieth century adopted a scientific spirit of objectivity, they reflected the emphasis many contemporary scientific studies laid on the forces of the natural world in shaping the character, behavior, and ultimate destiny of man. In this literary mood of "pessimistic determinism," fantasy literature began to experience a resurgence, providing a marked contrast to naturalism's portrayal of the impotence of man to effect change in his circumstances. I examine fantasy's restoration of efficacy to the human will through a study of two representative works of the opposing genres: Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie and Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter. As I demonstrate, the former naturalistic novel emphasizes the impotence of its characters in the face of powerful natural world, while the latter contemporary fantasy novel uniquely showcases man's ability to effect change in his world and his destiny.
Identifier: 430497582 (oclc), 221950 (digitool), FADT221950 (IID), fau:3455 (fedora)
Note(s): by Tracy Stone.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2009.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945
Dunsany, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, 1878-1957. The King of Elfand's daughter
Realism in literature
Naturalism in literature
Literature and science
Life change events in literature
Fantasy fiction, English -- Criticism and interpretation
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/221950
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU