Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

W. H. Auden's liminality among antithesis during an age of anxiety
by Quarterman, Kayleigh, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 101; 10111183
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis focuses primarily on W. H. Auden’s last book-length poem, The Age of Anxiety, as well as several of Auden’s shorter poems extending throughout the modern, anxiety-ridden age. My second chapter argues that Auden blurs the distinctions between mythology and history and asserts that history is truly more subjective than seemingly objective, while my third chapter discusses Auden’s liminality between psychoanalysis and theology. After Auden’s conversion to the Anglican faith in 1939, Auden transitions from a Freudian to a more Jungian discourse, since Jung’s psychoanalyses incorporate theology, while Freud’s theories use psychoanalysis to determine religion’s implausibility. This thesis maintains that Auden presents readers with various antitheses throughout his canon as a way to challenge us to decipher beyond a binate understanding of larger, existential ideas and suggest, instead, that these ideas’ significance reside in liminality rather than in opposition.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Blankley, Elyse
Commitee: Hart, George, Lopez, Dennis
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Auden, W. H., History, Mythology, Psychoanalysis, The age of anxiety, Theology
Publication Number: 10111183
ISBN: 978-1-339-74393-6
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