Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

English

Department

English

Major Professor

Gery, John

Second Advisor

Easterlin, Dr. Nancy

Third Advisor

Doll, Dr. Daniel

Abstract

Kazimierz Dabrowski’s psychological theory of positive disintegration is a lesser known theory of personality development that offers an alternative critical perspective of literature. It provides a framework for the characterization of postmodern protagonists who move beyond heroic indoctrination to construct their own self-organized, autonomous identities. Ezra Pound’s The Cantos captures the speaker-poet’s extensive process of inner conflict, providing a unique opportunity to track the progress of the hero’s transformation into a personality, or a man. American Gods is a more fully realized portrayal of a character who undergoes the complete paradigmatic collapse of positive disintegration and deliberate self-derived self-revision in a more distilled linear fashion. Importantly, using a Dabrowskian lens to re-examine contemporary literature that has evolved to portray how the experience of psychopathology leads to metaphorical death—which may have any combination of negative or positive outcomes—has not only socio-cultural significance but important personal implications as well.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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