Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

1988

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Kathleen K. Hickok

Second Advisor

P. M. Keith

Third Advisor

P. M. Keith

Abstract

The novels of British writer Barbara Pym (1913-1980) have been praised for their wit, gentle humor, and quiet portrayals of ordinary men and women who are given to musing upon the ways in which their mundane lives have not quite met their expectations. Most of her ten novels deal with the poignancy of day-to-day living rather than major social crises and personal upheaval. Small triumphs and minor setbacks are Pym's bailiwick. She has been seen (with some justification) as a kind of heir to Jane Austen in her treatment of the ritualized comedy of manners. Like Austen, Pym is a master of delicacy and understatement. Her books quietly reveal an acute awareness of the ways men and women perceive each other; in them she examines assumptions and expectations about sex roles and romantic love. Most of all, she points out the ways in which these assumptions are not justified in life and these expectations go unfulfilled. This unobtrusive aspect of her work is the focus of my thesis: Pym's subtle, ironic subversion of the romantic paradigm.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-5250

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu

Copyright Owner

Alane Diane Fitzgerald

Language

en

Date Available

August 20, 2013

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

82 pages

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