Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Gordon Van Ness, III, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ellery Sedgewick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Robert Lynch, Ph.D.


Ayn Rand, renowned author of such titles as Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, based many of her heroines on her androgynist views derived from her upbringing and lifestyle. Parker balances her research mostly between Rand’s life and her female protagonist in Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart. Taggart possesses some disdain for a few female characters in the novel, which reflects some of Rand’s lack of female friends due to anti-feministic opinions, the most notable identifying her own sex as weak and submissive. Ayn herself said that she based all of her characters off of a male hero in a children’s comic books series. Her negative experiences with trying to form these female friendships lead her to create these masculine heroines to escape from the overwhelming feminism she was experiencing. According to Parker, this explains why Ayn in fact did favor male dominance over females, which explains why many of her characters possess masculine character traits.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.