Date Thesis Awarded

4-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Brett Wilson

Committee Member

Giulia Pacini

Committee Member

Erin Minear

Abstract

I argue that Jean-Jacques Rousseau established a new literary genre, which I call the reverie, with his final work, Reveries of a Solitary Walker (1778). Although similar in some ways to a confession, a more common form of autobiography that Rousseau also used earlier in his life, the reverie genre differs from the confession in purpose, in form, and in the priority it gives to the narrator’s thought process. After examining the characteristics that distinguish Rousseau’s Reveries from his Confessions, I will turn to Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground (1864) and British-American literary critic and poet T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1911), and argue that they too are members of the reverie genre. The genre features narrators lost in wandering thoughts, trapped in self-analysis, and isolated from society. Through these narrators, the members of this genre demonstrate that experiences often associated with the twentieth century and stream of consciousness technique are not uniquely modern.

Cover page - signed.pdf (425 kB)
Signed Cover Page

document_agreement.pdf (292 kB)
Non-Exclusive Distribution License and Honors Thesis and Project Availability Agreement

Share

COinS