Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Darlene H. Unrue

Number of Pages



Analogies of Image and Word: Studies in Painting and the Anglo-American Novel from the Eighteenth Century to Postmodernism traces the historical progression of the relationship between painting and the novel through four representative analogies. The first chapter traces the critical history of the sister arts tradition, and examines the theoretical approaches most widely used in contemporary analogical studies. Chapter two takes up the modern concern with the sister arts as it blossomed in the eighteenth century with the pictorial iconoclasm of William Hogarth and the literary shift from the poetic tradition to the new generic form of the novel as represented by Tobias Smollett. The third chapter looks at the relationship between the visual image and the perception of woman in Victorian England and examines how one woman writer, Elizabeth Gaskell, seems to reinforce the patriarchal model for feminine behavior when in fact subverting the paradigm. Chapter four moves to the end of the nineteenth century as it studies the aesthetic of impressionism as practiced by Henry James and James McNeill Whistler in their move away from traditional realistic representation to a more internal, perceptual mode of expression. Chapter five focuses on the surrealist movement of the early twentieth century, examining from a feminist perspective two women, Djuna Barnes and Dorothea Tanning, whose work subverts the overwhelmingly masculine surrealist aesthetic through a re-imaging of woman as subject, rather than object, of desire. The final chapter examines the eclectic instability of the postmodern era and the difficulties of defining a specific one-to-one analogy between individual visual and verbal artists. More generally, this study aims to accomplish three goals: first, to locate the writer and artist within a specific cultural discourse; second, to show a direct formal and ideological relationship between the works of both the writer and the artist or between the writer and the prevailing pictorial paradigm; and third, to illustrate how each reflects and contributes to the aesthetic of a particular movement or school of art.


American; Analogies; Anglo; Century; Eighteenth; Image; Novel; Painting; Postmodernism; Studies; Word

Controlled Subject

Comparative literature; British literature; English literature--Irish authors; Irish literature; Art; History; American literature

File Format


File Size

8099.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit