Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Alexandra Valint

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Kate Cochran

Committee Member 2 Department

English

Committee Member 3

E. Kay Harris

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Abstract

This study of Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria argues that the poem failed to achieve critical and popular success due to unmet reader expectations. The poem is a haunted house or ghost story and in many ways follows the familiar formula of the Victorian ghost story. However, Carroll’s political and generic satire alters various aspects of the anticipated structure, thereby creating a work that fails to satisfy readers on multiple levels. The failure of a work by a successful author writing within a popular genre is particularly significant for what it shows us about the relationship between genre, consumerism, and literary criticism.

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