Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Dr. Maureen Ryan

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Dr. Jonathan Barron

Committee Member 2 Department

English

Committee Member 3

Dr. Kathryn Cochran

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Committee Member 4

Dr. Charles Sumner

Committee Member 4 Department

English

Committee Member 5

Dr. Ellen Weinauer

Committee Member 5 Department

English

Abstract

My dissertation analyzes American identity in the works of John Updike, Toni Morrison, and Philip Roth. Specifically, I examine American identity in Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy (1960-1990); Morrison’s trilogy of novels Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1998); and Roth’s trilogy comprising the novels American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000). The studied texts of these three novelists, I argue, attack national myths and undermine exclusive narratives that are incongruent with the nation’s ideal identity as a pluralistic and democratic nation.

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