Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Audrey Goodman

Second Advisor

Dr. Gina Caison

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Kocela

Abstract

This study reflects on the midcentury myth-and-symbol school of criticism as a tool for comparatively reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night (1934) and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller (1981). The first chapter applies Joseph Campbell’s “monomyth” paradigm of the archetypal hero’s journey as the foundation for a comparative character study of Storyteller’s Yellow Woman/Kochininako figure and the characters of Dick and Nicole Diver in Tender Is the Night. In subsequent chapters, I situate Tender is the Night, the myth-and-symbol movement, and Storyteller within their interrelated historical contexts. I argue that Fitzgerald used emergent mythologies of psychoanalysis to illustrate the plight of the misled, pathologically extraverted modern man; Campbell refashioned psychoanalytic and modernist sensibilities alongside traditional mythologies in service of his influential “monomyth” paradigm; and Silko drew from diverse familial and cultural influences to emphasize the power of syncretic narrative to resolve dissonance and achieve cultural translation.

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