“I caint make it be if it aint”: Insistent Materiality, Subjectivity, and Agency in Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree
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- Master's theses (HF-IKS) 
This thesis explores how subjectivity is negotiated in the interplay between ideology, material objects, use, and the spaces these objects construct, in Cormac McCarthy’s novel Suttree. McCarthy constructs a powerful and Naturalist wasteland comprised of an American materiality. The thesis employs the close connections between ideological class marginalization and spaces, to reframe the denizens of Knoxville as waste, rather than commodities. Exploring the tension of McCarthy’s insistent materiality, by employing New Materialist approaches, this thesis reveals the novel’s underlying potential to not only negotiate recentering and dehumanization of the marginalized, but to negotiate anthropocentrism, as it reframes the subject-object relationships between the animate and inanimate, and thus serves to question agency. I argue that Suttree must shed his material possessions in order to gain autonomy and real agency, because these objects form compelling networks that enmesh and incapacitate his mobility. By drawing attention to this insistent materiality, McCarthy reveals the opaque constraints of human autonomy, and thus serves to illuminate and access these fascinating limits. In conjunction with McCarthy’s materiality, I examine how his superabundant object world both maintains and resists ideological constructs. Positing object misuse as a potential instrument of such resistance, I expose how this resistance is interrogated, as misuse is appropriated by representatives of that which it is supposed to resist.
Master's thesis in Literacy studies