Themes of corporatism in the postwar American novel

McDonald, Brian (2000) Themes of corporatism in the postwar American novel. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Specifically interested in a species of democratic erosion known as "corporatism," a creeping political specter which John Ralston Saul has described as "for some time the only real threat to democracy," this thesis is based on a reading of selected works of three post-WWII American novelists--Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead and Armies of the Night, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Vineland, and Don DeLillo's White Noise and Underworld--as reactions to an increasingly corporatist America. I will argue that what is at stake for these writers in their fiction is the viability of democratic ideals in a postmodern culture and society in which the very possibility of a legitimately democratic civic life, and the effectiveness of individual political agency are, at best, put in serious jeopardy by organized interests that have unprecedented control over the shape of America, and that have created a political and cultural atmosphere saturated with paranoia, secrecy, and political passivity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 7305
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 111-114.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: United States
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Corporate state; Elite (Social sciences) in literature; Individualism in literature; Democracy in literature; American fiction--20th century

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