Title

Lobo

Date of Award

2001

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Welch Everman

Second Committee Member

Margaret Lukens

Third Committee Member

Tony Brinkley

Abstract

Abstract

LOBO explores, The Beast, as human and animal, who appears in varying forms in the principal male characters. Of the human characters, Will Strang is the seducer, George Strang the manipulator, Dorian Hinds the paternalistic pedagogue, and Leo "Sly" Foxx Jr. is the beast in its most classic and violent form--the destroyer. Foxx is not a wholly unsympathetic character. Set in the present, the book presents three couples, one in their twenties, one in their thirties, and one in their late fifties, who are linked in various ways, and are drawn together in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine. The geography and topography are distorted to avoid any possibility of the landmarks being where they really are. The story takes place in the early months of summer, and as the book unfolds another visitor to the region and his family impact upon these people's lives. They are a family of wolves. The male is given the generic name Lobo. Lob is the final form of the beast, and the one who is seducer, destroyer, and protector. He embodies qualities of all the various Gods of the Bible and Koran, and the Hindu tradition. The battle between natural animal interests, and those of humans is examined as not a conflict between the two groups, but a misunderstanding of nature's essential machinations. Using human sexuality and sexual fantasy as departure points, the worlds of the wolf and man intersect. The generational conflicts within one family and the fight for male dominance in both human and animal families are explored. Female characters are presented in relationship to their male partners. Andrea Strang cannot become a person, or be the person she believes she is, because of her husband's suffocating authoritarianism, Gretchen acquiesces, is smitten by Will, and Summer cannot realize her personhood without an intimate knowledge of the beast as personified in Lobo, and without creating an identity separate fiom Dorian. A battle between the intellect and desire is always present. It is not at all a stretch to see this as a classical Freudian war between the id and the ego, though custom and convention are also invoked (super ego) to occasionally moderate the more visceral emotions of some of the males. An attempt has been made to discern if peace between the sexes is possible, and if man is separated fiom the beasts only by thick layers of civilization and fear, regarding sexual conduct and what is considered pernicious desire. The author is undecided on this issue, but feels that the character who does make a decision is Summer Roebuck-Hinds. Ms. Hinds becomes the more natural, and thus less civilized, character in the book as a result of her temptations, trials and redemptions, and seems to be at peace with her own desires.

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