Even gods do: The construction and presentation of network culture in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods"
Collins, Jennifer Gail
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Neil Gaiman's American Gods is a novel that exemplifies emergent network theory. It is a novel that is many things at the same time, a road novel, an American epic, an immigrant experience, connecting to different genres, cultures and modes of storytelling. This thesis examines the nuances of American Gods , searching out and analyzing the ways in which Gaiman has written a networked novel. First to be discussed are the roles of the Old and New Gods of mythology and how conflicts between them show the changing dynamics of American culture. These changes are then reflected in the study of the novel's male protagonist, Shadow, and his position as a networked hero, in contrast to the heroes of early nineteenth century literature. Finally the women of the novel are viewed through the same lens of a networked America. Influenced by innumerable immigrant assimilation narratives, the women of American Gods show the transformative powers of network culture in literature.