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Performance of the Postmodern: Romanticism and Performance of Truth in Postmodern and Contemporary Fiction Using Cat's Cradle, White Noise, and The Road

Hightower, Megan and Van Noy, Rick and Woods, Dan and Keck, Sean (2019) Performance of the Postmodern: Romanticism and Performance of Truth in Postmodern and Contemporary Fiction Using Cat's Cradle, White Noise, and The Road. Masters thesis, Radford Univrsity.

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Abstract

During World War II on August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kurt Vonnegut coins the moment the bomb was dropped as a turning point in his life, marking an entrance into the future. Vonnegut has described himself as a man that believes in the truth and studies the truth, but when the bomb was dropped, that truth became too negative and threatening to ignore. To use his own words, Vonnegut once said, “but then truth was dropped on Hiroshima,” and thus, his truth was transformed forever (“Kurt Vonnegut” 00:03:27-00:03:30). The early stages of the postmodern period began with Vonnegut battling between realistic nihilism and a search for hope, and continued with writers leaning toward destruction and hopelessness, but still being pulled toward back a romantic wish for meaning and truth. A majority of postmodern writing is considered bleak and dark, but some of the works that would fall under this category are not as negative as they might appear. Using authors from the beginning, Kurt Vonnegut, middle, Don DeLillo, and tail end (into contemporary), Cormac McCarthy, it can be proven that the nihilistic texts of the postmodern period might not be so negative and hopeless after all.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Megan Hightower
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 20:13
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 20:13
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/527

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