Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, iv, 87 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Paul Stasi


Identity (Psychology), Individuality, Outsiders in literature, Outsiders in motion pictures, Marginality, Social, Individual differences

Subject Categories

American Literature | Creative Writing | English Language and Literature


This hybrid thesis, part critical and part fiction, examines experimental and nontraditional texts that showcase how misfits allow viewers and readers to glimpse ideological structures—particularly interpellation. It argues that the misfit is essential to the visibility of the ideological process because the misfit shows the disconnect between the inverted and the real world. The inverted world seems like the real world but it is masked by ideology. This thesis examines how a pair of films – David Lynch’s films Blue Velvet and Mullholland Drive – and a pair of novels – Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls, and Chris Kraus’ I Love Dick – expose the machinations of ideology, if only briefly. These ideological machinations become more visible when read through the theoretical lenses of Louis Althusser’s “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” and Judith Butler’s “girling” in Bodies That Matter. In all these texts, although the misfits ultimately fail to overcome the ideological system, the readers and viewers get a glimpse of the system itself. The way worlds appear in these texts allow the reader to see misfits recognizing how they see how they do not fit traditional roles, which allows us to interrogate ideological roles and see how we are living in a construct.