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dc.contributor.advisorHoeness-Krupsaw, Susanna M.
dc.contributor.advisorConaway, Charles A.
dc.contributor.advisorMontz, Amy L.
dc.contributor.authorBunner, Alexander Mitchell
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-09T18:13:42Z
dc.date.available2019-12-09T18:13:42Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12419/320
dc.descriptionThesis available in Rice Library University Archives and Special Collection.
dc.description.abstractPortrayals of disability and disease in literature date back to the beginning of recorded history, and these portrayals constantly shift based on the culture that writes them. However, depictions of cognitive disabilities lag behind physical disabilities due lo communication being difficult or impossible. Many books that include characters with cognitive disabilities resort to using them less like a character and more like an object that serves the narrative. The characters Bertha Mason in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Benjy Compson in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Christopher "Stump" Hall in Wiley Cash"s A land More Kind than Home offer a cross section of characters with cognitive disabilities that span eras of great importance to disability studies. The three characters are nonverbal; yet, they perform different functions within their stories. Disability theory allows for readers to better understand these characters and how their disability or disease reflects on the writer and culture that produced them. With a proper understanding of the culture that produced characters, one can see how he or she relates to modern thought on disability studies. Theorists' goal is to have more well-rounded characters who happen to have a disability, and to push for more writers with disabilities to share their stories. Alas, such a task is impossible for many cases of cognitive disability. It is difficult to portray a character that cannot communicate their thoughts or feelings in a way readers can understand. Most portrayals of characters like these leave aspects of their characters lacking, but when a writer attempts to write such a voice the depiction of the character helps to normalize the disability as a part of human existence. For a character with a cognitive disability to be well-rounded, the character needs to participate in the narrative beyond being an object.
dc.subjectdisability
dc.subjectdisease
dc.subjectdisability theory
dc.subjectcognitive disability
dc.titleProgress or regression : depictions of disability and disease in literature
html.description.abstractPortrayals of disability and disease in literature date back to the beginning of recorded history, and these portrayals constantly shift based on the culture that writes them. However, depictions of cognitive disabilities lag behind physical disabilities due lo communication being difficult or impossible. Many books that include characters with cognitive disabilities resort to using them less like a character and more like an object that serves the narrative. The characters Bertha Mason in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Benjy Compson in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Christopher "Stump" Hall in Wiley Cash"s A land More Kind than Home offer a cross section of characters with cognitive disabilities that span eras of great importance to disability studies. The three characters are nonverbal; yet, they perform different functions within their stories. Disability theory allows for readers to better understand these characters and how their disability or disease reflects on the writer and culture that produced them. With a proper understanding of the culture that produced characters, one can see how he or she relates to modern thought on disability studies. Theorists' goal is to have more well-rounded characters who happen to have a disability, and to push for more writers with disabilities to share their stories. Alas, such a task is impossible for many cases of cognitive disability. It is difficult to portray a character that cannot communicate their thoughts or feelings in a way readers can understand. Most portrayals of characters like these leave aspects of their characters lacking, but when a writer attempts to write such a voice the depiction of the character helps to normalize the disability as a part of human existence. For a character with a cognitive disability to be well-rounded, the character needs to participate in the narrative beyond being an object.
dc.contributor.degreeMaster of Arts in English
dc.typeThesis (M.A.)--University of Southern Indiana, 2017


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