Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Doll, Dan

Second Advisor

Maxwell, Justin

Third Advisor

Steeby, Elizabeth


Neil Gaiman’s use of a hyper-masculine American culture in American Gods sheds light upon the multiple issues surrounding a misogynistic society in which women are treated as sexual objects and punished for their independence as sexual beings. Gaiman’s efforts at highlighting these issues are discreet and hidden under layers of patriarchal expectations, but through the use of his protagonist, Shadow, Gaiman is able to provide an alternative to the society he represents. While he successfully illustrates this more “ideal” society, his endeavors fall short and are almost imperceptible throughout his novel. Gaiman’s work in American Gods, while lacking in its overall presence, brings attention to the issues within a hyper-masculine society and it is through this unique, feminist approach that Gaiman is able to present his strong argument for change.


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