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Merging Antiquity and America: Analyzing the Americanization and Modernization of Roman Antiquity in Thornton Wilder’s The Cabala

Gabriela Chavez
Gabriela A. Chavez
Faculty Adviser(s)

Thornton Wilder, an accomplished and exceptional American writer, was frequently influenced by Greco-Roman antiquity. Over the course of my senior research, I have examined the Americanization and modernization of Roman antiquity in Wilder’s first novel, The Cabala, as revealed by his allusions to Virgil’s, The Aeneid, use of travel motifs, and references to Roman gods. In order to fully understand Wilder as a young author, I also read his personal journals and letters. Furthermore, in my study I explored the intersection of class and gender through an antiquity lens. 


Gabriela A. Chavez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a native of Dobson, North Carolina. She is a senior majoring in English and minoring in Professional Writing. After her December graduation, she intends to travel outside of the United States to continue her studies and to delve further into research of texts of antiquity, specifically Greek literature.