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Contrasting Identities: A Study of Power and Freedom in the Roman Empire As Depicted in John Williams’ Augustus
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Upon being announced as one of the winners of the 1973 National Book Award, John Williams’ novel Augustus (1972) was classified as a book of a supposedly more traditional form compared to John Barth’s experimental work Chimera (1972) that Augustus shared the prize with that year. This essay will examine John Williams’ novel Augustus, with the purpose of analysing two of the novel’s main characters, Augustus and his daughter Julia. To define both of the characters, this essay will be looking in-depth into how Williams showcases the various ways both characters go about using the power that is bestowed upon them. This essay will be employing Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) to establish the environment of nihilism present in the Roman Empire that nears the “waning of affect” and exhaustion Jameson states occurs with the coming of postmodernism. Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics (1916) will be placed in dialogue with Luce Irigaray’s Speculum of the Other Woman (1974) to showcase the varying masculine and feminine practices of language both characters employ and the consequences these forms of expression bring with the duplicitous ways of the Roman Empire looming in the background behind both Augustus and Julia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 30
Keyword [en]
Augustus, Julia, John Williams, The Roman Empire, storytelling techniques, the feminine identity, the masculine identity
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144978OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144978DiVA, id: diva2:1118679
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Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-07-01 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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