Date of Award

5-9-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

This creative thesis of short stories focuses upon the theme of people searching for something they cannot find. Each story centers around characters who cannot obtain the thing they long for, be it a voice, an answer to a question, or some sort of redemptive relationship. As a collection, the intent of this thesis is to present particular stories of characters who are on the verge of coming to a realization about themselves but who are unable to become who they want to be. In the story "Rocks", a child who isn't speaking is sent to summer camp so that he may make friends but learns more than he is supposed to. "Waiting" is about a man who cannot find the words he must say to make his relationship with his girlfriend work, so escapes to a bar and meets a man with a story to tell. "I'm Not Hurting Anyone" is the story of a man who has made a terrible mistake he cannot move on from, even when the demon he keeps at bay tries to help him recover. Lastly, in "The Swimmer", a young artist in search of an answer to where he is going in life finds his hero in the unlikeliest of places with unwanted results. The author seeks to present these stories to showcase various tales of loss, despair, anger, acceptance, and ultimately, the collapse of each character's ability to acknowledge who they were and the failure to accept who they have become. The characters of Toska are unable to find themselves when they look for who they are. These individuals remain as silent and lost at the end of their stories as we often find ourselves.

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