Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
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 media—all 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.
Millman, Edward, "“You Only Have Time to Explode’”: Nathanael West’s Novels, Mass Media, and Illusory Dreams" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1474.
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