Master of Arts in English Theses

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    Curriculum Project to be implemented at The Bay Academy for the Arts and Sciences, I.S. 98, Brooklyn, NY
    (2011-08-31T00:00:00-07:00) Southard, Allison
    The revised curriculum for my 8th grade ELA class is based on the current state and national standards. Since New York State is adopting the Common Core Standards there needs to be some revision and thought to how the current curriculum can be adapted to a different set of standards. The Common Core Standards do not just ask students to understand or have knowledge of skills but to analyze, apply, and recreate. The new curriculum must also have students going beyond the current state standards and as educators we must ask our students to analyze, apply, and recreate in our classrooms.
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    Reconciling Sentimental and Radical Tendencies in the Life and Work of Fanny Fern: Her Influence on Women Newspaper Columnists
    (2009-12-22T00:00:00-08:00) Roth, Valerie
    Far more than a conventional Victorian woman whose premature widowhood and single-motherhood compelled her to seek employment as a sentimental journalist, Fanny Fern is a both a representative of typical nineteenth-century women's journalism and literature and a literary mentor to later generations of women novelists, poets, and newspaper columnists. While the historical records suggest that duality and contradiction characterized her private life, and the available literature demonstrates a similar dichotomy in her writing – a tension between the sentimentalism prevalent in women's writing of the Victorian era, and the sarcasm and feminism beginning to surface near the nineteenth-century's end – Fern, by utilizing accepted convention as a vehicle for promoting reform, managed to constructively reconcile the obvious contradictions in both her life and literature.
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    Where the Huck is Finn? The Hunt for Huckleberry Finn in Hannibal
    (2010-05-22T00:00:00-07:00) Zima, Dusty
    The Mississippi River town of Hannibal, Missouri clings to the romanticized notion that it is "America's Hometown." The visitor's bureau, chamber of commerce, and the Hannibal Jaycees strive to portray Hannibal as an ideal oasis for the young at heart. The inspiration for the town's attempt at such pristine preservation is its most famous citizen, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as, Mark Twain. In keeping with the town's nostalgic and romanticized image, city officials have promoted Tom Sawyer, with what they believe to be his endearing shenanigans and humorous pranks, as the ideal boy, and Hannibal, as his idyllic playground. On the other hand, Hannibal has swept Huckleberry Finn and the painful memory of slavery that is associated with his character and his eponymous text under the rug so as not to burden the tourists, townspeople, and the town itself with Hannibal's true slaveholding past and the racism lingering in the present. In doing so, the town of Hannibal has created for itself an extremely profitable tourism business that is, at its root, a disturbingly distorted and completely false representation of Twain's characters, texts, and boyhood hometown.
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    Suspension in Suspense: Expressions of English Medieval Morality Plays in
    (2011-08-29T00:00:00-07:00) Connell, Jessica
    English medieval morality plays such as Everyman and Mankind have found a voice in G. K. Chesterton's and Arthur Conan Doyle's crime literature. The moral vision that Chesterton and Doyle offer is based on medieval morality, but made accessible to popular culture through the literary devices of the detective genre. Both genres communicate essential metaphysical realities and moral principles to the reader. To truly engage in the mystery fiction, the reader must subconsciously but temporarily retire personal notions about morality and accept the traditional morality reflected in the crime story. This suspension of individual ethics and the borrowing of ancient ones allows the reader living in a subjective world to find reassurance in a sovereign standard, thus participating existentially in greater metaphysical realities of the narrative, thereby fulfilling the ultimate objective of literature: the enrichment of the reader's understanding of human nature.
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    The True Rise of The Fallen Woman: A Critical Study of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of The D’Urbervilles
    (2009-12-22T00:00:00-08:00) Nixon, Kathryn
    The genre of work known as the literature of the fallen woman adheres to a strict set of guidelines for its infamous female roles. Fault, misery, and death are the ideal circumstances under which these women lead their lives. Thomas hardy, however, with the use of sleep states at critical junctures in Tess of the d'Urbervilles creates an anomaly within the genre with the character Tess Durbeyfield. By developing his character through these states, he not only exonerates her from blame, but also allows her to rise above her sin. Additionally, he leads his heroine through a life of internal ambivalence, thus adding to her isolation from both the world and her genre. This new vision of the fallen woman echoes his feelings on the hypocritically ambiguous society of his day and allows a new concept to take shape within this type of literature--forgiveness. This study explores Hardy's use of these states and their extraordinary effect on the perception of the fallen woman.