Circling and shaping the maelstrom : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Creative Writing, English and Media Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This thesis is comprised of two sections. The first section is a critical essay entitled Lawrencian Streams in Joyce Carol Oates’ Fiction. The second section is creative, consisting of a novella entitled Cold River. In both sections the flow of water is a metaphor for the protagonists’ psychological journey and also a structuring device. The critical essay establishes D.H. Lawrence’s general influence on Joyce Carol Oates, drawing on their various works of fiction and non-fiction to explore how and why Oates interrogates, appropriates and re-visions Lawrence. A comparative study of Oates’ Blackwater and Lawrence’s The Virgin and the Gypsy, identifies how Eros, symbolised by archetypal water imagery, functions as a force which drives the writing and shapes the form of both novellas. A water trope also features in the creative section, where intertextual allusions, a transformational theme and naturalistic imagery provide evidence that Lawrence and Oates’ texts have functioned as mimetic models.