Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
This novel is written primarily in the mode of a literary realist bildungsroman, with elements of social satire and political farce. The story recounts the events surrounding a contemporary campaign for the United States Senate, structured and narrated in a traditional manner, covering the events leading up to the campaign and delving into the private life of the first-person narrator. The work, though grounded in fiction, draws on personal experience in the political world. Its goal is to capture a particular moment in American political and social history, when the nation was coming to the end of two long wars, the populace was ideologically and socially polarized, political power seesawed from right to left and back in a series of "wave" elections, and technology rapidly transformed the political process--making campaigns longer, more rigorous, and more expensive than ever before. This narrative further seeks to explore universal themes of the will to power, commitment and sacrifice, and loyalty and betrayal. The central figure, a former navy admiral, draws on the archetype of the captain in the American literary tradition, established in Herman Melville's Moby Dick and invoked in Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny. It owes a substantial debt to Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, Joe Klein's Primary Colors, and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972.
Bildungsromans; Fiction; Political campaigns; Social satire
Langdon, Joseph G., "Flack" (2013). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1853.