Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Wendy Nielsen

Committee Member

Art Simon

Committee Member

Alexios Lykidis


This treatise will fully embrace the interdisciplinary approach and will attempt to apply theoretical physics to works of literature. There is no escape from the search for an ultimate connection between all disciplines of human thought. Culture, progress, their relationships with material things are all inevitably connected, even if this connection is its all-prevalent absence. Recent developments in quantum physics and post-human philosophy have provided the key to the intimate substance of all things – information. Although, the numerous branches of information structures are to be studied separately to grasp, appreciate and use their manifestations, to truly understand reality it is necessary to understand the nature of information itself. The two works of literature examined here are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick or, The Whale (1851). In the first part, Frankenstein will be subdivided into homeostatic informational systems and the observer effect will be examined with respect to each system. Then the information theory will be applied to the character of Ahab in an examination that will focus on the nature of a willful observer and how it operates in the realm of literature.

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