Date Thesis Awarded

4-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Colleen Kennedy

Abstract

Though most critical analyses of Kurt Vonnegut’s work focus on the assertions made in individual texts, Vonnegut’s narratives do not occupy the traditional space of a singular novel. Instead, Vonnegut’s characters and narrative devices appear again and again in multiple, non-sequential works, weaving together otherwise isolated texts. In this thesis, I explore the way reading Vonnegut’s canon as an interconnected whole reshapes the way his novels are perceived individually and forms a larger continuous narrative in which humanist themes are brought into counterpoint with the more nihilistic satire Vonnegut is most known for. Vonnegut uses this unique act of world building as a phenomenological device, dissolving the traditional boundaries within and between texts and revising the role of the author.

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