The quest motif forms the framework of the journeys undertaken by the three youthful protagonists of this study. In pursuit of selfhood, the non-conformist hero of the Post-World War II American South sets out on an uncertain path leading to confrontation and finally transformation. Joseph Campbell’s ground-breaking analysis of the quest motif is the starting point for the patterns described in these journeys. The quest takes the hero through a perilous post-modern landscape often in conflict with the legacy of the past. It is a place where the optimistic mainstream of the American Dream is juxtaposed with the trauma of human suffering. Through a close textual analysis, the author elucidates multi-faceted characters and thematic while shedding new light on a reading of Southern fiction. Although significantly different novels, important common threads are revealed linking the quest motifs in these works. This study examines William Styron’s
s Choice, Flannery O’Connor’s
The Violent Bear It Away and Bobbie Ann Mason’s
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 152 pp.
Contents: Quest Motif – William Styron – Flannery O’Connor – Bobbie Ann Mason – The Southern Quester in Post-World War II
America – Rites of passage – Bildungsroman – Joseph Campbell – The monomyth – The transformational process of the youthful
protagonist in 20th century American literature – The «rebel-self» – Gender perspectives – Mythology in post-modern American
literature – Expressing the «banality of evil» – The search for selfhood – Understanding the Southern homeland in the post-modern