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Mariah Helgeson

Miss Lonelyhearts is interpellated as a feminine and Christ-like subject through language and narrative in the text. Lonelyhearts is simultaneously ascribed as female and male, messianic and demonic. How do these dualisms influence West’s purpose? How does Miss Lonelyhearts’ initial resistance to these categories change throughout the text, if at all? To what extent is Miss Lonelyhearts’ sexual identity defined by the readers that write to him? Does West’s view of consumer culture influence the perception of gender in the text? What is the significance of Lonelyhearts' proposal to the dress and not to Betty? In the end, Lonelyhearts believes that he has achieved both masculine identity and a connection to Christ, what does the irony of his death mean for the reading of the text as a study in sexual and religious identity?