Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2016

Major Department or Program

Environmental Humanities


Donald Snow; Lydia McDermott


There appears to be a pattern of literary domestic spaces holding historical tension between past and present. In this project, I examine three novels of historical upheaval: Angle of Repose, O Pioneers! and The Optimist's Daughter. I examine these domestic spaces through three main lenses of domestic space: spatiality, gender, and nostalgia. Ultimately, I find that domestic spaces exist in literature of upheaval to make historical tension visible, through characters, enclosure, and nests.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Domestic space in literature, Women in literature -- 20th century, Wallace Stegner -- Angle of Repose, Willa Cather -- O pioneers!, Eudora Welty -- Optimist’s daughter, Nostalgia -- United States -- History, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Environmental Humanities

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Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

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