Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Minnick

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Angles

Third Advisor

Dr. John Adams


The purpose of comparing two works of literature is to highlight similarities and differences that might provide a greater understanding of the works. When comparing the two works, one can emphasize various elements of the texts, including national or international conventions, periods, genres, themes, influences, culture, movements, or aesthetic choices. At the same time, however, this process may actually distort the way in which one views the works. A reader can easily seize upon surface similarities and identify some "deep" relationship between the works that may not in fact actually exist. Moreover, a reader can easily focus on surface similarities in style and themes and assume they arise because of similar historical circumstances. If the works come from two different cultures, one of which influenced the other, then one can likely conclude that the literature was influenced as well. Unfortunately, when one does this, one forces the pieces of literature into a hierarchy, which prevents one from fully appreciating the individualistic qualities of the works. In essence, the tendency to point out similarities and differences between works helps obscure the individual work's identity and the distinctive traits of each author.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access