Date of Award

1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Billy J. Stratton, Ph.D.

Keywords

American West, Amoral, Cormac McCarthy

Abstract

The history of the American West, of conquering the frontier, forms the very backbone of national identity in the United States. Cormac McCarthy's southwestern works probe the Western mythic: Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men, and his screenplay The Counselor offer an alternative to the romantic, antiseptic Western American tradition, exposing the necessary complexity of a realm that cannot be encapsulated in the binary dualism that has so long defined it.

The amoral nature of Cormac McCarthy's antagonists demonstrates that the story of expansion is more complex than is/has been typically understood, both by scholars and the public. McCarthy is offering a different lens through which to examine a foundational period for the nation - one characterized not simply by the traditionally recognized ethos of rugged determinism, but also by depravity and bloodshed. This work seeks to reveal that lens, in an effort to demonstrate the importance of reconceptualizing American identity.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

John Thomas Arthur

File size

76 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Literature

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