Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 129 pages) : PDF file, illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Helen R Elam

Committee Members

Edward Schwarzchild


Loup, Novella, Raven, Romance, Fiction, Romances, English

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


In her appropriately-titled study, Romance, Barbara Fuchs introduces the romantic in literature as the "textual strategy[:] a concatenation of both narratological elements and literary topoi, including idealization, the marvelous, narrative delay, wandering, and obscured identity, that [...] both pose a quest and complicate it". The purpose of this thesis is to creatively employ the "textual strategy" of romance, applying it to a story set in the near-present with modern-day symbols, events, and characters. With this in mind, the traditional romantic hero is a warrior, a general, or a knight with physical or mental prowess that goes beyond the scope of human limitations; however the narrative of this thesis follows a less traditional, yet still romantic hero in the Raven Loup, a high school janitor with an uncertain name whose obsessive drive to protect Sally, a nubile school athlete, from her do-no-good lover spurs him to take on the mantle of the girl's unseen masked protector. Complications set in when other residents in the community with similar motives discover the custodian's nightly activities and question the morality of his idealized "quest" to safeguard an underage young woman, and as his methods become more extreme his own doubts make him unsure of his obscured identity as he tries to rediscover the purpose of his vigil. Flowing concurrent to the story of the Raven Loup is the diary of Alan Fields, a recent college graduate who returns to his hometown of Ravenna to join the workforce. Though he grew up there, Alan feels displaced, homeless, unable to reconcile the present due to the memories of his childhood and teenage years that haunt him at every turn. He is a victim of his own past transgressions that echo in the forms of fraternal guilt, promises not kept, and an ex-lover with a gun. Apart from the Raven Loup's idealized perspective, Alan marks the presence of the romantic wandering and narrative delay that puts the custodian's motivations under scrutiny -complicating the quest that poses itself to the hero.