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Title: From misfit to monster : a study of the anti-hero in post-World War II United States novel
Author: Cansdale, Sophie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8699
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is a study of the white male anti-hero in post-World War II United States fiction. It is my intention to analyse the manners in which surrounding sociocultural systems are integral to both the construction of deviance and social responses to it. Varying attitudes towards the deviant during this period were shaped by a wide variety of factors, such as the increasing assimilation of psychoanalysis into popular consciousness, the Sexual Revolution and counter-culture of the 1960s, the rapid rise of consumerism and mass culture and the growth of sociology and criminology as diagnostic tools in managing deviance during these years. This will frequently involve a heavy emphasis on the pertinence of these issues to post-World War II concepts of masculinity, as the rise of second-wave feminism opened up the interrogation of gender roles and their accompanying pressures and privileges. I will also examine the presence of deviance as a matter of narrative form in the work of authors such as William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the relationship between the formal experimentation of artistic movements and the response to the relevant facets of post- World War II society contained within them. I argue that deviance in the post-World War II United States novel is most commonly represented as both a reaction to and an extension of sociocultural formations, which the figure of the anti-hero simultaneously embodies and repudiates. It is my intention to examine nine texts from this period, and to analyse the manners in which deviance is represented within the context of post-war United States culture, drawing upon a variety of contextual and theoretical approaches as appropriate. I hope to move towards establishing a shared basis between these nine novels, which differ widely in terms of context, concerns and narrative form, in terms of their treatment of deviance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available