English and Modern Languages
Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Literature, General; Literature, American
community, Ecocriticism, environment, Marilynne Robinson, Wendell Berry
Ecocriticism places nature as the central subject of life, but avoids analysis of human relationships as an integral part of man's relationship with nature. Wendell Berry's novels Jayber Crow and Hannah Coulter, and Marilynne Robinson's novels, Gilead and Housekeeping posit ecocritical claims about man and his work in nature without forsaking the union of the body and soul. Thus, Berry and Robinson connect relationships between people to this work in nature in order to reveal the relationship between man and God. They integrate principles of environmental recovery with Christian principles of redemption, and thereby offer new possibilities for ecocritical writing rooted in a religious connection with man's work on earth. Therefore, this thesis contributes a new approach of this criticism by stretching the established boundaries of ecocriticism to include Christian environmental perspectives in literature.