Honors College Thesis

 

An Introduction to the Narrative Structure of the "Awakening Arc" Public Deposited

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  • This thesis attempts to identify and develop a new narrative structure that has not yet been identified. This structure, which traces a character’s internal process of change throughout a work of literature, is known as the Awakening Arc. The Awakening Arc has seven stages that loosely correspond to Freytag’s external plot structure. If a character successfully completes all seven stages in the correct order, they have experienced a complete awakening. Should a character fail to fully complete all stages, their awakening arc is incomplete. This thesis will articulate the arc by providing a thorough explanation of each stage; I will then identify these stages in three works of literature. Two of these works express a complete awakening arc, while the remaining text expresses an incomplete arc. Through this, I argue for the viability of the Awakening Arc as a narrative structure. Key Words: Narrative, narrative structure, character arc, literature, fiction, Ray Bradbury, Thomas Pynchon, Leo Tolstoy
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