Date of Award

11-20-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Randy Malamud - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Margaret Mills Harper - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Paul Schmidt - Committee Member

Abstract

The First World War wrought untold destruction on the physical and psychological landscape of Europe. For Britain, the immediate post-war period represented no less than a national “nostos,” or homecoming, and few social institutions were so fragmented by the conflict as the home. This thesis will explore the various conceptions of “home,” from the nation and the domestic sphere to post-war consciousness, through the lens of Virginia Woolf’s "Mrs. Dalloway" and Rebecca West’s "The Return of the Soldier." Though unique in style and scope, Woolf and West interrogate and revise pre-war notions of “home” and suggest a Modernist aesthetic of what it is to be both at “home” and at home in the world.

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