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The Quest

Title:

The Quest

Johnston, Isabelle (2015) The Quest. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The Quest by Isabelle Johnston is Part I of an Arthurian fantasy novel structured as a frame narrative. This novel explores gender and class dynamics through romantic and chivalric pursuit. The story opens with Merlyn, who has been imprisoned by his lover Nyneve. The reader learns that Nyneve stole Merlyn’s magic and imprisoned him in a tree. Within this frame, Merlyn tells the story of Nyneve’s sister, Vivienne, who falls in love with Sir Pellinore after he rescues her from her violent husband. Pellinore is initially reluctant to enter into a relationship with Vivienne, in part because she is a peasant, but also because he must carry on his family tradition of pursuing the beast Glatisant (a monster who is part deer, part dragon, part leopard, and part lion).

Within this frame, the characters present tales that uncover dark secrets about themselves and their relationships. The tales of Pellinore’s quest and his family line reveal a history of men struggling to adhere to impossible codes of manhood and devoting their lives to a pointless quest. The tales of Merlyn and Nyneve’s relationship likewise complicate the idea that Merlyn is simply a spurned lover. Through these tales, Vivienne gains insight into the people she loves most, and in the end she is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to save either her lover or her sister.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Johnston, Isabelle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:May 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ferguson, Trevor
ID Code:980428
Deposited By: ISABELLE JOHNSTON
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 15:22
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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