Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Shapiro, Joe


This paper suggests that a reconceptualization of the structuralist framework of story anddiscourse, the foundational concept of narrative theory, is needed in order to account for postmodernist texts. It reframes story and discourse as an “intra-textual” approach, wherein individual narrative strata are understood as equal and interrelated voices within a text, thus refusing to privilege any one aspect over another. In other words, I work to build a method of narrative analysis that interrogates form as it manifests across various levels of narrative, uncovering the patterns, connections, fissures and inconsistencies that emerge within and between the various levels in order to produce meaning. The paper then employs this method through a reading of Samuel Beckett’s postwar Trilogy that argues against traditional critical interpretations of the text, thus presenting a new possibility for historicizing Beckett at the midcentury mark.




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