Date Thesis Awarded

5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Christopher MacGowan

Committee Members

Susan Donaldson

Richard Lowry

Charles McGovern

Abstract

This thesis analyzes Nathanael West's novels with a focus on his treatment of commodification and mass media in 1930's American society.

West’s works are situated in the midst of the Market Crash, the Great Depression, the rise of cheap consumer commodities, the transition to sound-film from silent film, the rise of Hollywood studios, and the proliferation of mass mediaall of which influence and historicize his novels.

In West’s work, mechanical reproduction problematizes the act of communication by rendering it anonymous and circular, never satisfying the desire it promises to fulfill, and with an illusion of reciprocity.

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Creative Commons License
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