Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Heather Russell

Third Advisor's Name

Yvette Piggush


Violence, American Literature, Native Americans, George Armstrong Custer, Thomas Berger

Date of Defense



The purpose of this thesis was to draw new insights on Thomas Berger’s classic American novel, Little Big Man, and his representation of fictional violence that is a substantial aspect of any text on the Indian Wars and “Custer’s Last Stand”. History’s major world wars led to shifts in the political climate and a noted change in the way that violence was represented in the arts. Historical, fictional, and cinematic treatments of “Custer’s Last Stand” and violence were each considered in relation to the text. Berger's version of the famed story is a revision of history that shows the protagonist as a dual-member of two violent societies. The thesis concluded that Berger’s updated American legends and unique “white renegade” character led to a representation of violence that spoke to the current state of affairs in 1964 when the world was becoming much more hostile and chaotic place.





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