Date of Award

11-1-1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Victor Cahn

Second Reader

Daniel Balmuth

Abstract

The primary objective of this paper is to show a connection between a revolution in thought, a "new consciousness," of young intellectuals at the turn of the nineteenth century and the ideas of their forefathers that preceded them. The phrase, "new consciousness,'' to which this paper frequently refers, is somewhat of a misnomer in that the development of these revolutionary ideas was intimately related to the philosophical, scientific, political and aesthetic traditions from which the generation of 1900 sought to separate themselves. In their eagerness to find an identity, what those of that era chose to define as "new" was actually the result of a creative synthesis formed from the dialectic of what they as a generation inherited and what they imagined. In dramatic literature, no better example of such a synthesis exists than August Strindberg's, A Dream Play, which so innovatively and powerfully merges naturalism, the literary form of the material and scientific consciousness of the nineteenth century and expressionism, the form of the subjective and irrational modern mind of the twentieth century.

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