Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nandini Dhar

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Martha Schoolman

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Naturalism, American Literature, Race Studies, Whiteness Studies, Progressive Politics

Date of Defense



The purpose of my thesis seeks to uncover the constructed nature of the Anglo-Saxon ethnicity within two works of fiction. My thesis utilizes London’s The Valley of the Moon (1913) and Norris’s McTeague (1899) because they were published in a similar era. Both authors lived and wrote in the Bay Area during the Progressive Era of American politics. Therefore, there is political, stylistic, and regional proximity. Although Anglo-Saxonism has always been present in the United States, the construction of race was changing in the 1900s. The Valley of the Moon and McTeague both contain intriguing (and antiquated) notions of whiteness that further exacerbate the class struggle in California. This thesis describes the convergence of Progressive politics, eugenics, and Marxism within a unique chapter of American history. Through an exploration of Anglo-Saxonism, this examination of racial classifications is an attempt to reveal the inner workings of oppression in America.





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