Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Michael T. Williamson

Second Advisor

Thomas Slater

Third Advisor

Melanie Holm

Abstract

Modernist studies often focus on the period’s trend towards violence and revolution. The realm of the domestic was something that needed to be defeated and overcome. The preoccupation with change and the focus on stylistic violence overshadows the work of women authors whose wartime writing in the 1940s offers a new way of linking literary style to the confusion of the conventional, feminine domestic sphere. Women writers whose work does not conform to the anti-domestic aspects of “modernist sensibility” are left in between literary periodization and fall between the cracks of literary modernism and post modernism. Due to these restrictions, authors like Bowen and Chang are also unmoored from the literary period of modernism. I wish to argue that Eileen Chang, like Elizabeth Bowen, should be studied as a writer of intrigue fiction and modernity. My assertion is based on an exploration of the similarities between Bowen and Chang: specifically the close attention to details, the agency of things in their prose, the ways in which they portray issues of; war, women inside and outside of the domestic, and how the past haunts the present in dangerous ways.

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