Date of Award

8-8-2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Brian Glavey

Abstract

The prospect of writing an acknowledgements page is intimidating, both because there are so many people to thank for their help in completing this thesis, and because the genre is more foreign to me than it should be. I need to start off by thanking my advisor, Brian Glavey, who has offered thoughtful commentary on several versions of this project and has helped shepherd it from its initial state to its current instantiation. To my second reader, Robert Brinkmeyer, I owe thanks both for the example his criticism has provided and for his thoughtful suggestions for further readings. I am also in debt to Eric Potter and H. Collin Messer of Grove City College, whose undergraduate classes introduced me to Walker Percy’s fiction and who have served as a sounding board for many of the ideas contained below over the past five years.

My parents and my sister Megan have been equally supportive and influential. I contend there are few better read bankers than my father, and even fewer who would support their son’s graduate school habit so whole-heartedly. His and my mother’s open ears, together with my sister’s constant desire to know more about my thesis and provide feedback, were invaluable as I sought to hone my argument. Finally, and most importantly, I owe the greatest debt of thanks to my fiancé, Brenna Jones, who has read more or less everything I’ve written in the last four years and, despite my abusive and arbitrary use of commas, has still agreed to marry me. She has put up with rough drafts, lengthy digressions, anxious phone calls, and weekends spent in the libraries of USC and UNC that could have been spent with her. Throughout all of these moments, she has been a constant source of love and support, an anchor helping me weather the worst storms of self-doubt and frustration. For all of these people, and for the continuous support and care of the cohort and faculty at South Carolina, I am incredibly grateful. This paper could never have taken shape without the contributions of all of you. Never-the-less, responsibility for any errors, missteps, or egregious abuses of the English language found below should fall entirely on my own shoulders. They could only do so much and what they have done continues to amaze and encourage me.

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