An Ethical Analysis of the Portrayal of Abortion in American Fiction: Dreiser, Hemingway, Faulkner, Dos Passos, and Irving (Studies in American Litera

An Ethical Analysis of the Portrayal of Abortion in American Fiction: Dreiser, Hemingway, Faulkner, Dos Passos, and Irving (Studies in American Litera

By: Jeff Koloze (author)Hardback

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Religiously-based ethical aspects of the abortion issue have not been addressed in literary criticism; thus, determining the ethical content of twentieth-century American fiction concerning abortion will assist students of literature and those interested in this controversial issue. Specifically, the author identifies six ethical aspects of the abortion issue discussed in Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The first ethical aspect concerns the lex talionis passage in Exodus. Second, the concepts of "health" and "life" are considered. The study then examines whether the unborn child can be viewed as an aggressor against his or her mother. Determining whether the unborn child possesses "potential" or "actual" life constitutes the fourth ethical aspect, followed by the closely related categories of "formed" and "unformed" fetuses. The last ethical aspect concerns ensoulment. The study conducts close readings of abortion passages in canonical works by Dreiser, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Brautigan, and Irving. Incorporating biographical criticism and other tools of literary research, the author concludes that canonical works do not address these ethical aspects. Finally, the study addresses the six ethical aspects in other twentieth-century non-canonical works.

About Author

Jeff Koloze received his Ph.D. from Kent State University and is on the faculty of the University of Phoenix


Foreword i; Acknowledgments v; Chapter I: Introduction 1; A. Origin of Research 1; B. The Two Views of Human Life 7; C. Definitions of "Abortion" 11; D. Criteria for Selecting the Literary Works 19; Chapter II: Review of Six Ethical Aspects in Religious Thinking on Abortion 25; A. The Lex Talionis 27; 1. The Issue of "Harm" 27; 2. The Humanity of the Unborn 31; 3. Recent Scholarship and Jesus' "Hard Sayings" 35; B. The "Health" and "Life" Aspects 39; C. The Unborn Child as "Aggressor" 51; D. "Potentiality" and "Actuality" 67; E. "Formed" and "Unformed" Fetuses 73; F. Ensoulment 83; Chapter III: Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) 95; Chapter IV: Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927) 125. Chapter V: John Dos Passos' U.S.A. Trilogy (1938) 143; Chapter VI: William Faulkner's The Wild Palms (1939) 169; Chapter VII: Richard Brautigan's The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 (1971) 189; Chapter VIII: John Irving's The Cider House Rules (1985) 215; Chapter IX: Other Contemporary Abortion Fiction 235; A. Fiction Which Addresses Ethical Concerns 235; B. Devaluation of Parenthood and Children 257; C. Treatment of the Roman Catholic Church in Abortion Fiction 261; D. Demonization of Right-to-Lifers 271; Chapter X: Conclusion 279; Appendices 287; A. American Medical Association Policy Statements and Ethical Opinions on Abortion 287; B. Characteristics of Abortion Activists 293; C. Critical Estimation of Dos Passos' Characters 295; D. Critical Evaluation of the Convict in "Old Man" 297; E. Dreiser's Obsession with Sex 301; F. Euphemisms in Abortion Fiction 305; G. Infanticide and Euthanasia Novels 309; H. Medical Definitions of "Abortion" and "Therapeutic Abortion" 313; I. Nathanson's Assertion of an Inflation of Abortion-Related. Deaths as a Pro-Abortion Strategy 317; J. Philosophical Discussion on Fertilization as the Beginning of Human Life 319; K. Recent Scholarship on Dreiser's Use of the Gillette Case 321; L. Review of Initial Research 323; M. Sections of the Babylonian Talmud Concerning Abortion 327; N. Select Passages from Heffernan and Lynch 331; O. Theological Examination of Saint Augustine's Statements 333; P. Three Reasons Why Criticism Has Not Addressed Ethical Aspects of Abortion 335; Works Cited 343; Works Consulted 373; Index 391.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773459649
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 412
  • ID: 9780773459649
  • ISBN10: 0773459642

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