Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

College

College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences

Department

Humanities

Degree Name

English, BA

First Supervisor

Dr. Kimberly Knutsen

Abstract

For my thesis I chose to write a collection of short stories. I did not begin to write with any particular idea or theme in mind. My goal was to simply write whatever came to mind and see what connections organically developed between the stories. The common theme that developed was ultimately one of identity. The characters in my stories are often in a place of transition. They are usually at a point in their life where they can no longer remain who they were, but are not sure who they are supposed to become.

With the transitions that the characters are feeling comes a tension. They must choose what their next step will be. Tensions that develop are between nature and urban, childhood and adulthood, innocence and corruption, materialism and simplicity, courage and quiet acceptance, selfishness and selflessness, loneliness and acceptance, and the absence and presence of God. The relationships the characters have with their families, friends, and coworkers heavily influences the way they deal with these tensions.

God is meant to play a key role in these stories, although this may not always be apparent. His absence is meant to be as powerful as his presence. The stories that lack any metaphor for God are the ones with the characters who are the most lost.

The choices the characters make reveal their identity. Often they are as unsure of the outcome as the reader. However, whatever the outcome, God is present in the background, like the Wolf that follows Kevin, Michael, and David in “God is an Old Man.”

Honors: Thesis with Distinction Award

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