Date of Thesis

5-10-2016

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English - Literary Studies

First Advisor

John S. Rickard

Abstract

At my thesis' core is the marginalized flâneur, that is, the minority figure whose urban wandering and interactions with commodities go beyond that of the typical consumer exchange. Through an exploration of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and James Joyce's Ulysses, I find that the narrator, Clarissa Dalloway, and Leopold Bloom respectively forge relationships with commodities and advertisements that reflect their marginalized statuses within their societies. In Invisible Man, I argue that Ellison's black narrator is the novel's anti-flâneur because he is the exact opposite of the authentic flâneur, that is, the white, upper class male who anonymously wanders the street. In Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa both wanders the street and is trapped by the constructs of her patriarchal society, allowing her to emerge as the novel's marginalized flâneuse. Finally, in Ulysses, we see Leopold Bloom's liminal status as the novel's marginalized flâneur. While at times Bloom's ethnic difference allows him to pass as a white flâneur, ultimately his relationships with commodities and advertisements underscore his inner self-anxiety regarding his identity.

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