Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Dr. Vladimir Tumanov

Second Advisor

Dr. Anthony Purdy

Third Advisor

Dr. David Darby


This thesis explores the narration of the spiritual awakening in the Literature of Addiction from a sociological, critical and literary perspective. The term “spiritual awakening” has many synonyms, but here refers to an alteration in behavior which allows for remission of addictive behavior. The history of the Literature of Addiction in the United States and in Russia reveals changing attitudes towards those afflicted. Certain characteristics of addictive behavior are recurring in narrative representation. American modernist writers viewed addiction bleakly, but after the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous, the general public became interested in narratives of recovery. Contemporary addiction memoirs reflect the hegemony of Alcoholics Anonymous, and are informed by its epistemology and narrative structures, which grew out of older religious models. The Literature of Addiction is currently evolving against the dogma of Alcoholics Anonymous, and must seek a more liberal discourse for communicating the spiritual awakening which relieves addictive behavior.



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