Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Samuel J. Sackett
William Allen White was known as the editor of the Emporia Gazette, as a political leader in the Republican Party in Kansas, and as a spokesman for the Middle West. His contributions to literature in the form of two novels and more than fifty short stories are seldom remembered today, but it was his ambition at one time to earn his living and reputation as an author, and not as a politician or a journalist. White's biography forms the second chapter of this study, emphasizing the elements in his early life which most affected the form and content of his fiction and defining the events of his political and journalistic career which changed the direction his fiction took. His philosophy of life as seen in his attitudes toward social, political, and economic issues of the day is discussed in the third chapter. The fourth chapter is devoted to his theories of literature and to their practical application in his fiction. Like many other writers at the turn of the century, he was caught up in the ferment of ideas which marked that era. A detailed study of representative examples of White's short fiction is contained in the fifth chapter. White's technical accomplishments and failures and the recurrent themes he used in his fiction are at the center of the study and are illustrated by a large sampling of his stories.
Copyright 1971 David Longfellow
Longfellow, David, "The Short Fiction of William Allen White" (1971). Master's Theses. 1395.