Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Jennifer L. Barker

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Harold C. Zimmerman, Scott M. Contreras-Koterbay


In this essay I argue that the films of director Darren Aronofsky correspond to the Text of Bliss defined in Roland Barthes' The Pleasure of the Text. Using several aspects of audience reception to dissect Aronofsky’s films justifies identifying his oeuvre as texts of bliss: works that disquiet viewers by unsettling their assumptions of the world around them and their own relationships with it. This Barthes-based appropriation of literary theory to audience reception theory in Film Studies serves as an example of how personally-developed classification systems can be used to circumvent relying on popular opinion and corporate aims for guidance in film classification.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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