Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
This thesis explores the use of correspondence (letters) in three late nineteenth-century novels; Guy de Maupassant's Une Vie, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Though the epistolary novel had fallen out of fashion by the time they published their works, Maupassant, James, and Hardy all explore, question, or subvert traditional epistolary themes: namely, the construction of individual subjectivity and desire. At the turn of the nineteenth century, at a time when new psychological research and concerns about modernity were questioning the foundations of subjectivity and of social relations, letters offer these writers a way to explore the psychology of intimacy, sentimentality, and sociability: in short, the psychology of desire.
Grant, Kayla, "Letters, Desire, and the Novel in the Late Nineteenth Century" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 642.
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