Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - English



First Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Martin

Second Advisor

Dr. Ericka Hoagland

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Given

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul J. Sandul


This thesis explores the American road genre. I argue that in addition to the automobile and the highway, a discussion of trains, boats, and walkers and their alternative roads must also be included in the genre. Each method of transportation expands the genre by adding new themes and ideas. Hobos and tramps can take to the road in search of community in order to discover more about themselves; some boatmen can use America’s racial history to discover themselves; walkers can go through a state of liminality in order to discover their internal selves. When these travelers complete their journeys, many are unsuccessful and either return home disappointed or do not return home at all.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



Tell us how this article helped you.


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.