NameGicking, Jessica (author), Singley, Carol (chair), Blackford, Holly (internal member), Rutgers University, Camden Graduate School,
People with disabilities in literature,
Faulkner, William, 1897-1962--Criticism and interpretation,
Faulkner, William, 1897-1962--Characters--Men
DescriptionThis study investigates the ways in which William Faulkner draws upon William James and Sigmund Freud’s theories of consciousness to create disabled male characters in his novels The Sound and the Fury and Light in August. Additionally, J.M. Barrie’s novel Peter Pan is analyzed as a similar study of disabled consciousness to demonstrate Faulkner’s adaptation of the eternal boy prototype to the American landscape. This study traces this prototype and related symbols from Peter Pan to Light in August in order to demonstrate the ways that Faulkner develops characters both to exaggerate the eternal boy and demonstrate the social and psychological problems that stem from the industrialization of the American South. Close readings of passages from these novels demonstrate how Faulkner’s characters exhibit mental and physical disabilities, through both stilted consciousness and impotency, to demonstrate disabled progress and masculinity. This study examines the female characters from these novels in juxtaposition to the male characters, arguing that the novels showcase the capability of these women to adapt to modernity. The women embrace sexuality and perform their maternal role as a way to ensure the progression of society and the continuation of families and communities. The principle conclusion is that women represent progress, modernity, and land cultivation in order to signify changing gender roles of an industrialized society, while the men are unable to function as agents of progress. Their disabled consciousness renders male characters unable to adapt to the changing roles regarding work; likewise, they are unable to sexually perform or accept the maternal process as a demonstration of progress. This reading of Faulkner is then applied to Willa Cather’s My Ántonia as a suggestion for further research.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Jessica Gicking
CollectionCamden Graduate School Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.