Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gorman, David J.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


This study claims that every narrative text intrinsically possesses a structure of fixed relationships among its interest components. The progress of literary structuralism gave more attention to the static nature of what a narrative is than it did to the dynamic nature of how it operates. This study seeks to build on the work of those few theorists who have addressed this general oversight and to contribute a more comprehensive framework through which literary critics may better chart the distinct tensions that a narrative text cultivates as it proactively produces interest to motivate a reader’s continued investment therein. This study asserts that the interest in narrative is premised on three affects— avidity, anxiety, and curiosity—and that tensions within the text are developed through five components of discourse: event, description, dialog, sequence, and presentation.


216 pages




Northern Illinois University

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