Date of Award
Master of Arts
The travel writing canon has been historically restricted to authors of a certain race, class, and gender even though the literature itself is not so narrow. Critics of the genre have noted the discrepancy between the literature and the canon without fully addressing how or why that gap has emerged. This thesis examines that gap more closely and argues that the limitations in the canon are due to the very nature of how critics have defined "the traveler": the adventuring Odysseus. This archetype, which hides behide eupehmisms of aesthetic standards, actually silences any authors not reproducing a white, Western, masculine experience in the journey. Specific examples from modern works, including criticism of Mary Morris and Elizabeth Gilbert, are discussed. A creative memoir is included to more fully understand how the prescribed archetypal conventions serve to limit rather than open up the canon of travel literature.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Eyestone, Dawn, "Therapeutic journeys: subversion of archetypal convention in women's travel narrative" (2008). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 15390.