Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Mark Christiansen


The purpose of this study was to examine some of the ways in which the protagonists' search for identity in the contemporary adolescent novel recapitulates the larger search-for-identity theme that has influenced past movements in philosophy, religion, and world literature. The general identity theme was broken down and examined in terms of three categories: the search-for-self theme, the rebel victim theme, and the loss-of-innocence theme. As a background for an analysis of these themes in the adolescent novel, the author first established a philosophical overview in terms of Socratic philosophy, Sophoclean drama, Old Testament and classical myths, Zen Buddhism, modern existentialism and the tradition of the Byronic hero in English literature. A background section was also included on the philosophical history of the problem of identity as it evolved through the thinking of Parmenides, the German Idealists and the modern phenomenologist, Martin Heidegger.

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