Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
“Self” as a literary focus, developed with the work of Wordsworth and Coleridge, was carried on by Emerson, who was himself influenced by these European writers and his own American citizenship. The advent of industrialization and the acquisition of wealth and material goods on both societies had a corollary effect on the transcendental movement in America, of which Emerson was deeply engrained, and on our societal concept of “self”. Further understanding of transcendentalism suggests "that each individual was potentially capable of fashioning himself and building a total conception of the world" (Anderson 699). This thesis project discusses Emerson’s work, specifically found in Nature and “Self-Reliance,” as it positions the concept of “self” and “nature” as interchangeable imagery within texts that consider both female authorship and woman’s role as protagonist within the four narratives examined. The study also considers each female heroine as they master “self” and the world each has created within the constricting cultural expectations of wife and mother.
Powderly, Colleen, "Learning the Land : Survival of the Self in a Hostile World" (1996). English Master’s Theses. 52.