Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Karem, Jeff

Subject Headings

Palahniuk, Chuck, Choke, Palahniuk, Chuck -- Criticism and interpretation, Baudrillard, Jean, 1929-2007 -- Criticism and interpretation, Palahniuk, Baudrillard, Choke, Simulation, Simulacra


Chuck Palahniuk's Choke is a text that perfectly constructs a world of simulation as theorized by Jean Baudrillard. However, rather than reveling in meaningless, if entertaining, hyperreality as Baudrillard does, the text attempts to find escape from the endless barrage of mediated images and information inherent in such a simulatory existence. It advocates an evolution (or de-evolution, as the case may be) of communication and signification, a willful ignorance of sorts, that will allow images to be reconnected with meaning and signifiers to be reunited with concrete corresponding signifieds. Following a line of postmodern literature begun by Pynchon and Delillo to its logical end, Choke takes the next step into post-postmodern territory, abandoning nihilism and focusing, instead, on the hopeful pseudo-Romantic destruction and rebirth of images and signs