Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Sheri Joseph - Chair

Second Advisor

Josh Russell

Third Advisor

John Holman

Abstract

Set in mythical Humble County, Georgia, Days of the Endless Corvette tells the story of Earl Mulvaney, a high-school dropout and auto mechanic. Earl loves Ellen, the brainy and beautiful girl next door, who unfortunately must marry Troy, the star of the high school football team. Throughout the book Earl labors on his “Endless Corvette,” a project as impossible as trying to build a perpetual motion machine. Earl has noticed that each time he takes something apart and rebuilds it, there are leftover parts. He reasons that by disassembling and reassembling his boss’s ’59 Corvette, and saving the leftover pieces each time, eventually he will have enough parts to build an entire car, leaving the original behind. The novel ends with the suggestion that perhaps Earl has succeeded at his project, which stands as a metaphor not only for Earl’s hopeless love, but other searches for answers to life’s perplexities.

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