In Writing In the Age of Obsession the author has attempted to create a novel which examines a number of important issues. By writing the narrative in the first person he has been able to pursue these themes through the development of Daniel Rackham, the main character.

The author chose the late nineteenth century as the setting because the period was one of dynamic and often revolutionary change. Within such a time period as this, when an old era is passing away and a new era is beginning, we are able to witness phenomena which can only be precipitated by such extraordinary circumstances. The religious, social, political and industrial revolutions of this period provide a perfect setting in which to examine issues which confront all eras.

Through the character of Daniel Rackham and his interaction with the other characters, the author tries to examine the forces which drive men to their often unfortunate end.

The author attempts to examine the nature and role of the human soul. He follows the descending path of those who try to rid themselves of the restrictions that conscience puts on the individual. He also maps out the course and final results of the actions of men and women who are ruled by obsessive needs.

Through the character of Daniel Rackham the author seeks to show a journey from innocence to experience. It is not the unintended journey of an unfortunate bystander. Rather it portrays a character who, perhaps misguidedly, seeks to lose his soul and thus fit himself for a life guiltless pleasure.

In researching the novel the author has read widely in nineteenth century literature and attempted to encapsulate the spirit of the age. The locations, scenes, and action are all considered, by the author, to be an accurate reflection of the times.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Frank Knittel

Second Advisor

Dorothy Minchin-Comm

Third Advisor

Robert Dunn

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)






Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives