Date of Award

5-2-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

This thesis, a study of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Tombs of Atuan, explores the roles of the hero and heroine in relationship to Celtic mythology and the societal boundaries and strictures within the novel. It also investigates the symbolic failure of the Ring of Erreth-Akbe, which mirrors the imagery of rebirth found in the Holy Grail and the Celtic cauldron, and its relationship to the failure of the heroine as a feminist symbol. The Tombs of Atuan is unsuccessful in establishing a strong feminist heroine despite its roots within the Celtic tradition and the initial power of the heroine over the hero.

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