Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


English Language and Literatures


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Sara L. Schwebel


“Education through Violence in Modern American Literature” examines how violence is employed as a pedagogical tool in overseeing the transition of young people into adulthood in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. Examining texts by Robert Cormier, John Knowles, Suzanne Collins, Orson Scott Card, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, this study demonstrates that a pedagogy of violence may be used as a coercive method to further the goals of the powerful, but it is equally interested in the ways that young people are able to rebel against structural systems of power that demand conformity and adherence to social, institutional, and familial discipline. In the process, this dissertation argues that, through the lens of imaginative literature, young people are shown not simply as victims in a dangerous world but also as dynamic and creative beings that respond to the pressures and traumas of their lived experiences.