"In the sea but not of it": Rites of passage and liminal spiritual perspectives in the fiction of Tim Winton
LE3 .A278 2014
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
This thesis examines liminal conditions in the fiction of Western Australian author Tim Winton in light of Victor Turner’s theory of rites of passage, Mircea Eliade’s analysis of religion, and Homi K. Bhabha’s and Manuel Aguirre’s abstract theories of liminality. For Winton’s characters, liminal spaces, which most frequently reflect the Western Australian landscape, enable ad hoc rites of passage and spiritual experiences. Proceeding from Winton’s early short fiction through his novels Cloudstreet and Breath, this thesis traces the development of Winton’s views of liminal spaces, specifically their capacity for rites of passage and spiritual development that support meaningful transformation and negotiation of identity. Over the course of his career, Winton’s fiction displays an increasing pessimism about the possibility of achieving such transformation, due to the lack of communal ritual and spiritual practices to give shape to rites of passage.
The author retains copyright in this thesis. Any substantial copying or any other actions that exceed fair dealing or other exceptions in the Copyright Act require the permission of the author.