”One log alone won’t hold fire” : Nature, Place and Regional Identity in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and The Outlaw Album

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Författare: Chris Holst; [2013]

Nyckelord: ecocriticism; place; regional identity; nature;

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this essay is to examine descriptions of nature, both in terms of physical setting and as an abstract entity, and their relation to the concepts of place and regional identity in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone (2006) and The Outlaw Album (2011). The main thesis is that when it comes to the characters’ relation to nature there is acceptance instead of resistance, and unification instead of separation. The essay also puts forth the argument that acceptance of nature can be seen as one of the key elements in both Winter’s Bone and The Outlaw Album. Moreover, the essay contains the idea that nature is a crucial part of the characters’ sense of regional identity in Winter’s Bone and The Outlaw Album. The theoretical background consists of ecocriticism along with theorizations of regional identity. When it comes to ecocriticism, a wide and multilayered theoretical field, the essay focuses on the works of three different scholars who all address the relationship between man, nature and place, namely Lawrence Buell, Fred Waage and Leonard Lutwack. The analysis consists of two parts. The first part addresses Winter’s Bone and mainly deals with the concept of family, the aspect of rurality and unification with nature within the novel. The second part looks at similar aspects in The Outlaw Album, but here, the emphasis is rather on the concept of outsider–insider, i.e. the difference between native Ozarkers and people who originate from outside the region.

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