Date of Award

Summer 8-18-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Paul H. Schmidt

Second Advisor

Michael Galchinsky

Third Advisor

LeeAnne Richardson

Abstract

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.

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