Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Paul H. Schmidt
The scarcity of speech in George Meredith’s Modern Love creates a deeply psychological narrative, reflecting a distrust of speech and the effectiveness of language in general. The narrator of the poem exists in a space of ambiguity, both blaming and yearning for speech; in his confusion, he remains largely silent. His silence does not only emphasize the distance between husband and wife but also between language and meaning. Furthermore, the narrator’s distrust of language ultimately exposes a breakdown in his certainty of self and truth.
Murray, Ellen J., "“How Silence Best Can Speak”: The Distrust of Speech in George Meredith's Modern Love." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2010.