Date of Award

7-17-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Pearl Amelia McHaney - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Calvin Thomas

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas McHaney

Abstract

Eudora Welty’s characterization of George Fairchild (Delta Wedding) queers the heroic masculine ideal, St George, whose legendary exploits have been popularized in narrative literature, Catholic iconography, and children’s fairy tale. Lauded by the Fairchild women for his “difference,” George’s sexuality offers him an identity apart from the suffocating Fairchild family myth. George Fairchild’s queer sexuality and homoeroticism augments our critical understanding of Delta Wedding, the character, as well as other characters. The author’s subtly politicized construction of the novel’s ostensible hero subverts literary tradition, the gender binary, and patriarchal myth.

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