Literary proletarianism: a critical re-vision of the Gastonia novels Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/th83m356p

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract or Summary
  • My primary purpose in this thesis is to continue the refocused attention given to American "proletarian" fiction of the 1930's. Because of their politics and supposed artistic inferiority, many of these works have been marginalized by American literary critics. However, many contemporary scholars are reconsidering this genre and devoting more time to studying the insights it offers into understanding the relationship of political ideology to artistic creation, to understanding the history of the Communist Party in the United States, and for the ways in which it contributes to Postmodern cultural studies. Part One of this thesis is an attempt to recreate the critical ambience that surrounded proletarian fiction by summarizing the literary and political issues that fueled the debates among authors and critics. Contemporaneous and more recent scholarship is considered. The major point of this portion of the thesis is to illustrate the ways in which this literary movement's progression towards its ultimate goal was constrained by its own ideological limits. Part Two of this thesis is a close rereading of six proletarian novels written in response to the textile worker's strike at the Lora, Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1929. The drama of the strike acts as a "control group" of sorts which I have used to show how different authors approach the same subject matter. The ways in which each author conforms or deviates from the proletarian aesthetic is considered, and a comparative study emerges that illuminates the possibilities and limits of each work and of the Communist ambience that informed them. This close reading of these six novels sheds light on issues that have not as yet been discussed in any critical forum. In addition, this thesis illustrates the ways in which our sense of identity and political agency is historically conditioned. These findings are relevant to current cultural studies that center on the role of ideology in society. They also provide evidence of how politics affects the writing of history. The ultimate goal is to provide reasons why proletarian fiction should be reintroduced, more centrally, in American literary studies. Only through a better understanding of the past can we come to understand the present and the future, and how artists and the creative imagination can play central roles in the quest for social justice.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Copyright
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Advisor
Academic Affiliation
Non-Academic Affiliation
Subject
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Language
Replaces
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-18T21:13:57Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 NieberdingJon1999.pdf: 4071829 bytes, checksum: fd5a59cba4b421d1c4b1b5847645d8a2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by John Valentino (valentjo@onid.orst.edu) on 2012-09-17T20:58:29Z No. of bitstreams: 1 NieberdingJon1999.pdf: 4071829 bytes, checksum: fd5a59cba4b421d1c4b1b5847645d8a2 (MD5)
  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using ScandAll PRO 1.8.1 on a Fi-6670 in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-09-18T21:13:57Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 NieberdingJon1999.pdf: 4071829 bytes, checksum: fd5a59cba4b421d1c4b1b5847645d8a2 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1999-05-05
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-09-18T21:11:30Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 NieberdingJon1999.pdf: 4071829 bytes, checksum: fd5a59cba4b421d1c4b1b5847645d8a2 (MD5)

Relationships

In Administrative Set:
Last modified: 10/26/2017

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Citations:

EndNote | Zotero | Mendeley

Items