Date of Award
Gilles Deleuze is one of the most influential French philosophers of the twentieth century. He collaborated with political activist and radical psychoanalyst, Felix Guattari to create Anti-Oedipus (1972), A Thousand Plateaus (1980), and What is Philosophy ? (1991), among other works. At the center of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought was the belief that philosophy is the production of concepts, such as territorialization/deterritorialization, lines of flight, and rhizomes. In this thesis, I will use Deleuze and Guattari to examine three seemingly unrelated literary texts: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s White Nights, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and John Green’s Paper Towns. By analyzing these works with a Deleuzian lens, using the texts as machines that actively produce new meanings from the context in which they are read, I will develop a new concept of the line of flight as a path to find happiness in a current world where everything is restricted, regulated, and defined by social constructs. To accomplish this, I will first introduce Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical concepts into the literature as a way to think about hope, freedom, and happiness and then use this analysis to produce new definitions for hope, freedom, and happiness in modern society. The meanings constructed will be more than a new interpretation of older literature; it is both a demonstration of what it means to read through a Deleuzian lens in 2020 and an attempt to reach a greater understanding of how happiness is produced through lines of flight.
Connolly, Fiona, "A New Happiness?: Reading Literature with Deleuze and Guattari in 2020" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 523.