Date of Award

12-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

Bennett, Alma

Committee Member

Chapman , Wayne

Committee Member

Koon , Bill

Abstract

This thesis is a study of Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider collection in relationship to James Joyce's Dubliners. The main focus of this study is Porter's use of Joycean paralysis in the three stories 'Old Mortality,' 'Noon Wine,' and 'Pale Horse, Pale Rider.' There is evidence in interviews and letters of Porter's admiration of Joyce, and her characters' states of hopelessness reflect a similar paralysis to those found in the following selections of Dubliners: 'The Dead,' 'Grace,' and 'Eveline.' Porter's collection of stories is not an imitation of Joyce's work; her voice and story setting remain distinct. However, a thread can be found between the two writers' selected works through the oppressiveness of the societies in which the characters in the Pale Horse, Pale Rider series and Dubliners live. The object of this thesis is to analyze the sense of hopelessness found in Porter's characters, while surveying the connections that exist between her and Joyce's stories. While the United States and Ireland's political and socio-economic situations differed, the result of their problems similarly affected the individuals in the respective countries. First discussed is the political and social atmosphere of the United States in the twentieth century. The second chapter will continue with the effect of the Texas South's codes of conduct on the family in 'Old Mortality.' A discussion of these Southern codes will continue with 'Noon Wine' in the third chapter. This thesis concludes with a study of Porter's Miranda character, a woman hindered by her heritage and the present World War I, which create a state of isolation that is inescapable. In all three of these Porter stories the protagonists, left hopeless at the end of the works, mirror the paralysis found in James Joyce's Dubliners.

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