Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Audrey Goodman - Chair

Second Advisor

Pearl Mchaney

Third Advisor

Christopher Kocela


In Toni Morrison’s Jazz and Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter, extreme opposition is prevalent as the authors describe the makeup of each character, as well as the setting and plot in these novels. What are they accomplishing by portraying such opposition? By using Jacque Derrida’s deconstructive theory and Julia Kristeva’s definition of abjection as theoretical guides to navigate these novels, examples of how both authors use extreme opposition in each element of their works are cited and explored. Through this process, the realization that opposing extremes can harmoniously lie side by side and have as many similarities as differences is discovered. By the conclusion, the unifying quality that love plays in both novels, as well as the authors’ intents to change their readers traditional concept of love, is evident.