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Seductive Surfaces: The Portrayal of Women and Los Angeles in Selected American Fiction.

Blundy, Jessica Ellen (2016) Seductive Surfaces: The Portrayal of Women and Los Angeles in Selected American Fiction. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent. (KAR id:59646)

Language: English
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By examining the depiction of women and the city of Los Angeles with relation to the concept of "surface" in selected American twentieth-century fiction, I will demonstrate how a "performative" subject emerged as a consequence of the developing Hollywood film industry. In the first chapter, I explore the figure of the femme fatale from American film noir cinema with relation to the portrayal of women in selected works by Raymond Chandler, Nathanael West's The Day of The Locust and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. I demonstrate how within the framework of Hollywood's mass consumer culture, the female image came to exist as a commodity. Similarly, California came into existence by being marketed as a commodity, or "the land of sunshine and oranges." The city of Los Angeles developed alongside and in accordance with the consumer relations of the Hollywood film industry. Consequently, this industry had a profound effect upon the architecture of the city and its very inhabitants. I explore the relationship between the city and its residents, as portrayed in selected California fiction ranging from James M Cain to Thomas Pynchon, as a part of the second chapter. The female image and the city of Los Angeles can be interpreted in terms of the "seductive surface" of the commodity fetish. Thus with reference to commodity fetishism, as well as postmodern theorists, I will demonstrate how the development of a performative subject occurred as a consequence of the developing Hollywood film industry and the particular cultural ethos that it had created.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Norman, Will
Thesis advisor: Wood, Sarah
Uncontrolled keywords: Women, Los Angeles, American
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2016 16:00 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 00:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Blundy, Jessica Ellen.

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