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Date of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Supervisor

Jeffery Donaldson

Co-Supervisor

Anne Savage

Language

English

Committee Member

Joseph Adamson

Abstract

Using the discussion of Biblical typology from Northrop Frye’s The Great Code as a starting point, this paper proposes a typological lineage of fiction growing from the foundational kerygmatic stories of Western culture. After briefly proposing canonical texts that would fit into this lineage, there is an analysis of the graphic novel All-Star Superman which demonstrates this contemporary text’s place in the typological line and its status as a prime example of the sorts of texts that would fit this lineage. Specific characteristics of the graphic novel and of superhero fiction are discussed that demonstrate All-Star Superman’s place in the typological line, and this placement also argues for the consideration of superhero narratives as worthy parts of the American literary canon. The final chapter discusses some of the ramifications arising from the analysis of both the form and the text, pointing to ways in which critical frameworks for both the typological lineage and the critical elucidation of the graphic novel format can move forward.

McMaster University Library

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