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dc.contributor.advisorBarrish, Phillipen
dc.creatorMiller, Ashley Elizabethen
dc.date.accessioned2010-11-17T18:03:59Zen
dc.date.accessioned2010-11-17T18:04:04Zen
dc.date.available2010-11-17T18:03:59Zen
dc.date.available2010-11-17T18:04:04Zen
dc.date.issued2010-05en
dc.date.submittedMay 2010en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2010-05-1107en
dc.descriptiontexten
dc.description.abstractCritics of Edith Wharton frequently discuss the material culture that pervades her work, but the trend in doing so has been to rush past the things themselves and engage in abstracted conversations of theory. I would like to suggest that a closer scrutiny of the individual objects being presented in Wharton’s novels can highlight Wharton’s own theoretical approaches to material culture. Working from Bill Brown's distinction between objects and things, I want to argue that Wharton firmly situates the material culture in The Age of Innocence in the background of her characters' lives as objects which they utilize as extensions of the self; but she brings the thingness of material culture to the forefront in Twilight Sleep, where the material culture in the novel alternately stands out and malfunctions, as characters attempt—and fail—to construct coherent and livable identities for themselves in the face of a 1920s New York that Wharton depicts as a paradoxically over-furnished wasteland. I will ultimately argue that things, problematic as they are, become a matter of survival strategy for her characters in Twilight Sleep when they utilize them to reconstruct the social relations that have become increasingly threatened from the world of The Age of Innocence.en
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen
dc.language.isoengen
dc.subjectEdith Whartonen
dc.subjectMaterialityen
dc.subjectModernismen
dc.subjectThing theoryen
dc.subjectThe age of innocenceen
dc.subjectTwilight sleepen
dc.titleThe lost meaning of things : Edith Wharton, materiality, and modernityen
dc.date.updated2010-11-17T18:04:04Zen
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCohen, Matten
dc.description.departmentEnglishen
dc.type.genrethesisen
thesis.degree.departmentEnglishen
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Texas at Austinen
thesis.degree.levelMastersen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen


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