Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Maria Windell

Second Advisor

Dr. Vicki Grove

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Green

Abstract

Monsters have remained a common attribute within literature since their origins in local folklore. These monsters shift and develop based on a society’s needs and fears, as well as the individuals who either write them into being or spread their existence vocally. This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between a society’s fears and the monsters present in their literature. This will be done through an analysis of three books from Victorian Gothicism and three classified as modern dystopian literature, as well as through research on both societies and their mentalities, whether religious or secular. Additionally, a comparative analysis on paired novels will be performed in order to discover the similarities between the cultures and literary traditions. Specifically, Dracula and 1984 will be compared, with a focus on the act of sucking a people dry, whether physically or through mental brainwashing; the section regarding Frankenstein and The Host will explore the consequences of an individual who is programmed – whether genetically or scientifically – in a specific way, and the effects this programming has on free will; and the section analyzing Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Divergent will bring attention to various aspects of personality and the effects that having warring character traits has on one’s mental capacity.

Share

COinS