Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Martha E. Cook, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Candis LaPrade, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Carolyn M. Craft, Ph.D.


The novels This Day and Time and The Dollmaker were studied in this thesis. Both novels accurately present some of the effects that early industrialization had on the land and people of Appalachia. The authors of these novels, Anne Armstrong and Harriette Arnow, write about their subjects with honesty and authenticity, and having themselves witnessed many of the events in their novels. These authors are able to write from personal observation and memory as they capture on paper a period of transition in Appalachia and the character of its residents before and after they were influenced. The bittersweet events in the novels serve to teach their reading audiences about the reactions that residents of an often overlooked region of the United States had to industrialization. By avoiding stereotypes and representing their subjects realistically, Anne Armstrong and Harriette Arnow illustrate the changes that progress brought to the people of Appalachia in the first half of the twentieth century. The authors offer poignant reminders of the difficult choices that many Appalachian people had to make in order to survive in the modern world.



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