The Midwest Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 2, Winter

Are We There Yet, Driver? Searching for the Automotive Human
IN 1987 I OPENED my Midwest Quarterly essay on "the liberated lady driver" by describing a then-contemporary television commercial in which a confident young woman quit her job as a journalist, jumped into her car (a Mercury, reflecting the source...
"Hardly the Voice of the Same Man": "Civil Disobedience" and Thoreau's Response to John Brown
How rarely I meet with a man who can be free, even in thought! We live according to rule. Some men are bedridden; all, world-ridden. Henry David Thoreau. Journal, May 10, 1857 HENRY DAVID THOREAU LIVED in a society teeming with political strife....
"His Native Homespuns ... Become Him": Synge's the Playboy of the Western World and Performative Identity
WHAT MAKES A PERSON a member of a cultural group? Is it something "essential" that separates, for instance, Greeks from Turks, Croatians from Slovenes? As peoples attempt to shape a destiny of their own, throwing off the repressions of colonization--as...
The Aesthetics of Materialism in Alan Bali's American Beauty
ALAN BALL'S AMERICAN BEAUTY is a cultural signifier/marker for America's current quest for spiritual meaning in the midst of an overpowering materialism. Typified by such current media productions as Desperate Housewives, one of many texts which situates...
The Birth of Death in Athens and Jerusalem
The Elohiad THE SECOND OF the epics attributed to Homer resembles the second of the books attributed to Moses. Like Exodus, the Odyssey is the telling of a journey of return. For narrative to loop back to its point of origin is, to be sure, nothing...