Date of Award

5-21-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

In my thesis, Proof, I have included a critical introduction exploring my development as a writer and the people and classes and life events that have shaped my writing thus far. Also, I have included three short stories, "The Lombard," "Proof' and "Persephone." In these stories, I have attempted to write modern works using some of the classic tropes of American Gothic literature. The most prominent of these tropes perhaps are the perverse and the "return of the repressed." "The Lombard" explores suspense, the sentience of non-living things, particularly an old building, perversity, the return of the repressed, the creation of an overall mood, and an overall questioning of reason. "Proof' explores a more dialogue-driven narrative, and while it does contain perversity and repression, it is slightly more influenced by the absurdist writers of the mid-twentieth century in that it carries an overall air of futility, and thus, it, in its own way, also questions reason. Finally, "Persephone," examines the ways in which addiction, emotional or substance based, erode reason and overcome it. While "Persephone" still highlights the perverse and the "return of the repressed," its primary focus is the effects of these tropes upon reason.

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