Masters Thesis

What is in a name: Olga Grushin's nameless protagonist, Mrs. Caldwell, in Forty Rooms as an "everywoman"

This thesis is an investigation into the role of names within Olga Grushin’s Forty Rooms, in order to in understand the protagonist, Mrs. Caldwell, as an “everywoman” in which readers can see themselves. I use the names of the male characters to show them as the patriarchy, and I use their actions to show them as oppressors. Conversely, I investigate the names of the women to show their universality and characteristics that keep them blind to their existence in an oppressive social atmosphere. I go on to emphasize the importance of the protagonist’s namelessness and show how several rhetorical devices and images – namely the use of pronoun confusion, first to third person narrative perspective switch, mermaids and mirrors – are used to help readers understand the protagonist as a hybrid and representing the masses of oppressed women.

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