Re-envisioning romanticism as postmodern fantasy : a case study of William Blake and Robert Jordan

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Patrick B Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Lewis Walker

Abstract: Postmodern fantasy fiction has often been linked to Arthurian legends and Victorian literature. However, few critics have addressed the relationship between American postmodern fantasy fiction and English Romanticism’s mystical poetry. American postmodern fantasy fiction proves to be a re-envisioning of the prophetic and mystical poetry of English Romanticism. In comparing the cultures of these two literary genres, many similarities come to light. To further develop the argument that postmodern fantasy fiction re-envisions English Romantic literary traditions, a case study comparing William Blake’s The Four Zoas and Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World is conducted. The first chapter of the case study examines the use of secondary realms and how readers must suspend personal bias and preconceptions to view the authors’ allegorical realms. Both authors use these secondary realms to show the flaws of their respective societies’ dystopias. The second chapter observes the role of the female in facilitating narrative progression by symbolizing both creation and destruction. The second chapter also discusses how both authors advocate a social androgynous consciousness in order to reform society. The third chapter compares the two texts by focusing on apocalypse, a subversive symbol for social, mental, and theological revolution and reform employed by both Blake and Jordan. The conclusion demonstrates how both postmodern fantasists and mystical Romantics ultimately desire reform for both the individual and society, and how such an intention is mediated through allegory and personification.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Blake William 1757-1827. The four zoas--Criticism and interpretation, Fantasy fiction, Jordan Robert The eye of the world--Criticism and interpretation
Jordan, Robert. The eye of the world -- Criticism and interpretation
Blake, William, 1757-1827. The four zoas -- Criticism and interpretation
Fantasy fiction

Email this document to