Sacrifice as a Narrative Strategy: The Construction and Destruction of the Self in May Sinclair, Mary Butts, and H. D.

Melin Schyllert, K. 2017. Sacrifice as a Narrative Strategy: The Construction and Destruction of the Self in May Sinclair, Mary Butts, and H. D. PhD thesis University of Westminster English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies

TitleSacrifice as a Narrative Strategy: The Construction and Destruction of the Self in May Sinclair, Mary Butts, and H. D.
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMelin Schyllert, K.
Abstract

This thesis investigates sacrifice in experimental narratives of the early twentieth century by May Sinclair, Mary Butts, and H. D. (Hilda Doolittle). I argue that sacrifice is used as a narrative strategy for negotiating the relationship between self and other, not only on a thematic level, but also in terms of narrative strategy. These shifts are not only indicative of the tendency to experiment with unexpected narrative strategies in early twentieth century fiction, but also reveal a concern with the individual self in relation to a community of other selves that intersects several wider issues in the historical/cultural context of the works studied: the First World War, first-wave feminism, psychoanalysis, and anthropological research. As first-,
second-, and third-person modes of narration are interspersed, the boundaries between narrative selves are continually dissolved and reinstated. The continuous
negotiation of the boundaries of the narrative voice means that these narratives promote both the death and the resurrection of the subjective self through the use of sacrifice as a narrative strategy.

Year2017
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