The trajectory of ironic descent: An analysis of the antihero in the works of Dostoyevsky and Camus

by Yates, Michael David, M.A., CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS, 2008, 64 pages; 1463474


Through the archetypal analysis of irony as an inversion of romance and the application of alienation theory to an assessment of the narrative architecture of irony, this study derives the cyclical pattern of the antihero's “ironic descent.” This study demonstrates that the pattern of ironic descent is a fundamental component of narrative irony and a definitive structural foundation for the characterization of the antihero. Through analysis of the antihero in Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, The Double, and Crime and Punishment, and Camus' The Stranger, The Plague, and The Fall, the ternary structure of ironic descent (separation—alienation—irresolution) is traced through a variety of antiheroic figures. This study concludes that the narrative pattern of ironic descent not only provides a valuable framework for the analysis of the antihero, but also allows for a more specific understanding of the types of irony employed by Dostoyevsky and Camus.

AdviserLyle E. Smith
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsComparative literature; Modern literature; Romance literature; Slavic literature
Publication Number1463474

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