The troubled economic consciousness of nineteen twenties American fiction [electronic resource] /Show full item record
|Title||The troubled economic consciousness of nineteen twenties American fiction [electronic resource] /|
|Author||Koch, Matthew Richard|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed May 5, 2011).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2011.
Department of English; advisor, David Vanderwerken.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
That Americans are driven by wealth and the pursuit of material markers of financial achievement is anything but new. "We who are without kings"--as Arthur Miller famously termed Americans in "Tragedy and the Common Man" (1949)--have always granted de facto status of nobility to those with the means to show it off. However, this study harmonizes apparently dissonant American notes by dissecting the nation in order to establish a unified voice in Nineteen Twenties Fiction. By juxtaposing the canonical with the obscure, the seemingly conservative with the assumed liberal, the minority with the majority, and the South with the North, the true consistency and complexity of the American economic consciousness comes into greater light.^Furthermore, although the Twenties presents a unique historical and literary moment for American writers, the decade ultimately showcases a phenomenon of economic obsession and discomfort that has only expanded and become more defined in contemporary American culture. The primary argument within "The Troubled Economic Consciousness" is that concerns over fiscal identity, labor, and materialism are so overwhelming in the American fiction of the Twenties that even many texts that seemingly share little with the subject of economy are actually engulfed by this overarching discussion. The chapters are organized along geographic delineations that highlight critical examples of the fiction arising in particular regions. The first chapter presents Nineteenth Century precursors to Modernism that evince a vague but perceptible awareness of the developing importance of labor to personal identity.^Following this look back at the previous century, the next four chapters each involve a different physical region of Twenties fiction and include the South, the Midwest, the Harlem Renaissance, and expatriate writings. These disparate regions serve to collectively prove the assertion that a common thread of economic anxiety overwhelms literary discourse and cannot be removed from Twenties fiction. Finally, the conclusion asserts a context for the Modernist fiction of the Twenties that is ultimately consistent with the economic consciousness of contemporary American culture. Economic trepidations are ubiquitous in Twenties fiction, but in contemporary American culture, discussions and displays of wealth have become audacious and explicit.
|Subject||American fiction 20th century History and criticism.
Wealth in literature.
United States History 1919-1933.
United States Social conditions 1918-1932.
United States Economic conditions 20th century.
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- Theses and Dissertations