Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Joyce Brown

Second Advisor

June Hobbs

Abstract

Ron Rash, through Serena, captures the often misunderstood complex nature of the Appalachian people in the early twentieth century and the effects of human centered environmental changes on this culture and natural landscape. The focus of this analysis involves viewing Serena through the lens of ecofeminism and introducing Rash's vision of the important interrelationship between landscape and culture, particularly in light of the historical outsider vision and its impact upon the people of Appalachia.

The culture and natural environment of the Appalachian people are revealed through the gazes of the characters. Through the fictional viewpoints in Serena,Rash creates a microcosm of humanity, reflecting varying intellectual and spiritual responses to the natural world. Erasure of boundaries between humankind and the environment as well as traditional gender roles occurs repeatedly throughout Serena as the reader follows the sightline of the characters. Serena offers particular emphasis on both parallel and dichotomous viewpoints of two women, Rachel and Serena.

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