• Hawthorne's 1850's Romances: Political and Personal Apologia and Accommodation

      Carbone, Vicki; The College at Brockport (2008-12-05)
      Nathaniel Hawthorne was one in a long line of American scholars, politicians, statesmen, and writers who created a national mythos. By creating, or recreating, a national past wherein every American would share, at least in myth, a common New England beginning, it was hoped that Americans would share a common view of America as the city set on a hill which the Puritans believed they had established. This was to accomplish many objectives: glorify America's Puritan beginnings, make heroic the Puritan forefathers, and remind every American of the brotherhood of all Americans. In addition to this, Hawthorne undertook to examine and explain American history, and to work through a very complicated national and personal accommodation. On a national level, Hawthorne needed to show his readers the Puritan character as both the manly hero who served as a noble warrior for liberty and as a harsh bigot who persecuted those with whom he disagreed. In doing so, he was able to aid in the creation of the national mythos while providing his contemporaries with the idea that they were yet more noble than their Puritan forebearers. Additionally, Hawthorne sought a personal accommodation. The Puritans whom he calls his forebearers were not mythic ones; they were his ancestors. He was both repelled by and attracted to Puritanism and felt that he had inherited from his ancestors "strong traits of their nature" (Hawthorne "The Custom House" 13). As a result, he sought to come to terms with these ancestors by exploring not only the history of the Puritans themselves, but also the succeeding two hundred years, to examine how the Puritan attitudes and ideals emerged in consecutive ages.
    • How to Threaten His Hegemony: The Nameless Women of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Meridel Le Sueur' s The Girl

      Geary, Celine; The College at Brockport (2012-06-20)
      Curley's wife in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and the girl in Meridel LeSueur's The Girl remain nameless throughout their stories, a problem here considered indicative of behavior against societal expectation and thus oppositional to the 1930s capitalist hegemony. The characters' alternative approaches to the conventionally public aspect that is work and the conventionally private facet that is sexuality are considered, two subjects that are customarily noted as important to these authors as integral to both identity and to the formation of community. The comparison shows that a more personal and private valuation of work and a more public appreciation of sexuality best challenges and attests as arbitrary the adverse conditions.
    • Hunger

      McSpadden, Lore (2015-04-01)
      All of the poems in this collection are ones written during the author’s time as a graduate student at Brockport. The thesis itself is comprised of three sections- "Shadow Stories," "Sex and Other Destructions," and "Back Roads" --each of which is located in between single poems that serve as transitional pieces from one section to the other. The first section is a collection of poems that are intentionally disorienting and often dark; these poems also, more often than not, rely more on sound and images to experience relating to human sexuality that transcends that with which many people are familiar. A subject of discussion that has frequently come up in these conversations is the challenge of conceiving of oneself as a sexual being in a way that is unflinchingly authentic, despite and because of one's experiences outside of the norm. These poems attempt to give a voice to this challenge, while neither simplifying the complexity of this process nor pretending to speak for all people who go through it. The "I" and "she" that appear in these poems encompass a broad-but by no means all-inclusive-spectrum of women who have, in a variety of ways, experienced prolonged exposure to the overlap between sex and pain. The opening poem within the second section, "Locked and Listening," contains many of the elements that were present in the first section of the collection: I wrote this with a strong emphasis on sound and image, and readers will need to rely upon their intuition to develop any concrete relationship to and interpretation of these images. As the section continues, however, the poems become increasingly more concrete, bordering on a narrative-like quality that aims to make the tension between sex and destruction-and between connection and separation-more accessible to readers. The third and final section is in many ways the most intimate. Although it does contain poems that explore subjects such as addiction, loss, and murder, it does so in a way that exhibits greater tenderness than most of the poems in the previous two sections. There is a collection of character sketches offered in poems such as "Tension," "Subtle Shift," and "Johnny Gone South"; a collection of poems that explore themes of drugs and addiction such as "Cracked," "Twelve Lies: Reader Response," "Enchanted Hills, Indiana: August 25, 2014," and (once again) "Johnny Gone South"; and many others that simply explore moments and experiences of tenderness in the midst of life's struggles. The cumulative result is a collection of poems that carries readers from an origin of disorientation, fear, and confusion; through a period of depravity, pain, and perversion; before finally landing at a place of radical acceptance of things as they are-in other words, a quality of peace that is devoid of denial. I am-and therefore my poems are- completely uninterested in blind optimism, serenity that lacks depth, or cheeriness that avoids at all costs the discomfort caused by looking into shadows: what fascinates me is the quality of equanimity that has borne witness to cruelty without losing the ability for compassion. I am interested in the gifts that suffering brings us: the beauty within violence, the resilience that grows from despair, the love that has survived unspeakable events.
    • Incarnations of Heaven: A Study of Fantastic Imagination and the Complications Inherent to Identity Creation in the Works of William Blake

      Placilla, Corinne; The College at Brockport (2011-05-14)
      This thesis project discusses William Blake’s work and observes the destructive nature of capitalist ideologies through the fantastic and its connection to divine imagination. In the opening section, various aspects of Blake's poetry are explored through the lens of Emancipative Fantastic theory, giving attention to how Marxist theory and fantasy come together in order to demonstrate Blake' s need for the imaginative eye when viewing the world. Through the theories of Marx and Althusser, Althusser's reading and definition of Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses specifically, this project employs the two principles of Marx and Althusser in conjunction with Rosemary Jackson's definition of the fantastic mode, to study Blake's work more fully. Aspects of individual identity formation, immortality, and alienation are discussed in the second section. In the concluding section, the project discusses the idea that Blake’s work hints at the loss of imagination as an indication and prelude to the apocalypse.
    • Interpreting Death in Paradise Lost

      McElroy, Jennifer C.; SUNY College at Brockport (2010-06-11)
      An understanding of John Milton's methods of representing death in Paradise Lost is crucial to the reader's understanding of the poem, and to Milton's defense of God. In the poem, Milton depicts death in two ways: as the subject of representation and as a method of representation. As a subject of representation, Milton presents the idea of death to the reader as part of a potential allegory in Book Two. The choice to represent Death in allegory is historically controversial, and is complicated by the presence of Death's mother Sin, whose body is the canvas for the horror and mutilation of Death's hunger. The depiction of Sin's mutilated maternal body refers to other literary characters such as Edmund Spenser's Errour and Duessa, Ovid's Scylla, and Ariosto's Alcina. Sin's womb and antecedents as well as Death's disembodied nature alternately invite and repulse allegorical reading. Sin's body becomes the grounds for an investigation of the utility of allegory and signification. In turn, the way that Death is depicted on her body as part of a potential allegory creates the idea of death as something which requires interpretation. This sets the stage for the reader's later encounters with the idea of death as a method of representation. In Books Nine through Twelve, the idea of death is used by the human characters of the poem in order to depict their state of ignorance and feelings of love and despair. However, the ultimate interpretation of death in the poem depends greatly on the earlier preparation of the reader by Milton's potential allegory. God and other heavenly representatives argue for an interpretation of the body which treats the physical as a metaphor for the spiritual, as well as for the interpretation of death -- both the literary death depicted in the poem as well as the reader's own experiences -as a gift of God's goodness and a remedy for the unhappiness of fallen humanity.
    • junction

      Buides, Grisell; The College at Brockport (2014-05-17)
      This thesis is a hybrid work, and includes fourteen pieces: nine poems, two vignettes, and three short stories. Some of the pieces have been inspired by news stories, and others by the writer's photography and travel experiences, specifically, her semester abroad in China. Although the content varies, the subjects of perception, human relationships, death, and a focus on the seasons and urban landscape serve to create a connection between the pieces. The poems are all free verse, but many of them maintain a consistent form. The writer experiments with visual line breaks, inspired by the poetry of E.E. Cummings, as well as prose poetry. While the short stories have a traditional structure, the vignettes are less narrative and more impressionistic. The thesis is divided into two parts. The first has a greater focus on relationships between people, while the second emphasizes the city and touches on the subject of consumerism, particularly in the final three pieces. The writings of Matsuo Basho, William Carlos Williams, Sandra Cisneros, and W.G. Sebald have also influenced the content of this thesis.
    • King Lear: A Textual and Bibliographic Study

      Adams, Linda B.; The College at Brockport (1994-01-01)
      This thesis project examines the printing history of William Shakespeare’s King Lear. The discussion includes the various arguments concerning the authoritative nature of the Quarto 1 and First Folio texts versus those that followed. The study explores the idea that since Q1 and First Folio are considered original or authoritative texts that all others are editions taken from them. While Q1 and First Folio appear to possess marked differences in their text, they must be considered as representing a draft and revision even as neither should be understood as inferior to the other, for each holds authoritative value for Shakespearean scholars. The project also offers a close reading, though not exhaustive, of many areas of the play text, stage directions, and the story’s through line. Through comparison and discussion the project includes a focus on detailed differences found between the various editions of the play to support the thesis of Q1 and First Folio as authoritative in nature.
    • Land, Law and Faith: Discourses of Liberty in James Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Crater

      Tiffin, Lisa M.; The College at Brockport (2002-05-18)
      This thesis deals with James Fenimore Cooper's beliefs regarding the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy as expressed through his fiction. While many critics feel Cooper's belief in the American system soured in his later years, this thesis seeks to prove he not only remained consistent in his views, but that those views, while at times critical of American politics, were largely optimistic. This thesis will focus on two early novels, The Pioneers (1823), and The Last of the Mohicans (1826), as well as one of Cooper’s last novels, The Crater (1847). In both the early novels as well as in The Crater, Cooper seeks to display the weaknesses in the American systems of democracy and capitalism through discussions centering on the land and the law. In both The Pioneers, and Mohicans, Cooper focuses on the ownership of the land and its resources as well as on the right to make laws and govern one's own destiny. In The Crater, Cooper endorses his belief in America's governmental and economic systems, as well as clarifies his fears if those systems go unchecked. As well, Cooper offers in The Crater a unique solution of faith as a way to check potential abuses while protecting the integrity of liberty. Cooper's optimism is shown through his belief that his criticism of capitalism and demagoguery, while not always understood or well-received, were necessary in order to preserve a nation he felt had great strength and potential.
    • Learning the Land : Survival of the Self in a Hostile World

      Powderly, Colleen; The College at Brockport (1996-01-01)
      “Self” as a literary focus, developed with the work of Wordsworth and Coleridge, was carried on by Emerson, who was himself influenced by these European writers and his own American citizenship. The advent of industrialization and the acquisition of wealth and material goods on both societies had a corollary effect on the transcendental movement in America, of which Emerson was deeply engrained, and on our societal concept of “self”. Further understanding of transcendentalism suggests "that each individual was potentially capable of fashioning himself and building a total conception of the world" (Anderson 699). This thesis project discusses Emerson’s work, specifically found in Nature and “Self-Reliance,” as it positions the concept of “self” and “nature” as interchangeable imagery within texts that consider both female authorship and woman’s role as protagonist within the four narratives examined. The study also considers each female heroine as they master “self” and the world each has created within the constricting cultural expectations of wife and mother.
    • License and Application: Examining Truth in Gray Area Fiction

      Parker, Nathaniel R.; The College at Brockport (2014-05-13)
      The following collection of short stories, while built upon a foundation of real personal experiences, purport to examine the world through a lens that fuses the genres of fiction and nonfiction. Less about the me and more about the we, the stories collected here examine the world through a narrative voice not easily categorized into the traditional genres of literature. The narrative perspective is always oscillating and instable, wavering at times between tightly focused introspective characters, and seemingly mundane objects otherwise buried in the background, the result of which is often unsettling and humorous. The introduction to the collection examines the author's influences concerning this vacillating perspective, as well as it critically analyzes the ways other writers have influenced his mode of developing characters, employment of dialog, and interpretation and conveyance of what he refers to as the gray truth. The collection ranges in its depictions of truth - beginning with more traditionally pure fiction in "The Butcher Shop" to the largely autobiographical "Fred and Adam."
    • Light in August: Platonic Parody and Paradox

      Guilfoyle, Richard E.; The College at Brockport (2010-05-01)
      This thesis examines William Faulkner' s aesthetic rendering of Plato's ideas in The Republic within Light in August. It asks, given Faulkner's persistent rejection of ideas and ideologies, where and why are they in the novel? It is suggested that the text is imbued with a Greek and Hellenic aura consistently invoking Platonic Absolute Idealism. Faulkner ' s insistence upon the future relevance of his works is used to challenge conventional interpretation as merely repressive patriarchal, religious, and racial codes of the tum of the century American South. The argument proposes another view that accommodates a future ideological matrix of Faulkner' s sought after audience, "The Jones of 4057." Faulkner' s invocation of The Republic and Plato's seminal allegory of the Cave offer more than a formula and deductive theory of Light in August, and suggests a conceptual unity under which divergent plurisignation of other systems of thought might be timelessly subsumed. The argument is advanced that Light in August does not use Plato ' s allegory and epistemological theory to depict victimizing oppressive ideological forces , but rather oppressive ideological forces are the inevitable end of absolute idealism found in Platonism. Faulkner does not reverently use Platonism in Light in August; instead, he doggedly uses Light in August to indict Platonism. There is a specific symbol matrix shared between Plato's Cave and Light in August that is identified, explicated, and proposes Light in August as an anti-Platonic text. The novel's irreverent and ubiquitous infusion of Platonic symbol and theory suggests a unity in its persistent rejection of Absolute Idealism. Bakhtinian hybridization within Light in August is explored revealing a Faulknerian non-authoritarian and Platonic authoritarian heteroglossia which character, plot, and structure are in service. A critical examination of the novel' s symbols argues how the abstract language of the Truth can never quite b e truth; it must be inextricably bound to the visceral language of the everyday. The thesis contends that Faulkner is a strange sort of modernist. invoking something of the ideal, God, virtue, and eternity by wrestling it away from the stranglehold of abstract systems of isolated Idealism. Faulkner's Light in August is not modernism as usual in its eliciting a sense of vital continuum and vital abstraction that includes ideals.
    • Liner Notes

      Alano, Lou; The College at Brockport (2001-11-04)
      For most of my adult life, my primary mode of artistic expression has been songwriting. Liner Notes consists of one part song lyrics, one part reminiscence on the events that sparked the songs, and one part commentary on the songwriting craft itself. Even the most successful song lyrics will "fall flat" when divorced from their music, and the lyrics herein will probably suffer a similar fate. What they lack in poetic refinement, I hope they make up for in their honesty, humor, and musicality. The memoirs have been shaped by my reading of numerous contemporary writers who work in multiple genres, most often in memoir and poetry. An examination of what motivates these writers, and how "meaningful" they view their own lives, comprises the majority of the introduction. The examining of the craft, and the re-examining of my past, have been undertaken with hopes that a "fountain of creativity" might be discovered.
    • Living the Dream of my Father: A Memoir

      Negrea, Sherrie; The College at Brockport (2001-05-08)
      This memoir is an account of the dream my father had for me and the way I eventually came to embrace it after years of rebellion. My father was a Romanian immigrant who lived through the Holocaust, a facet of his life that I never questioned as a child. It was not until nearly twenty years after his death that I began a journey to discover more about my father's past and what it meant to me. As a child, I rejected my father's view of the role women should play in the world-the 1950s version of the housewife who stayed at home rearing children. I was determined to do something else with my life, and eventually I became a journalist. But after finally marrying at the age of thirty-five, I found that my life seemed empty without a family. Fulfilling my father's dream, though, became impossible as infertility problems conspired against me. My desire to have a child finally led me back to my father's corner of the world-Eastern Europe-to adopt a seventeen-month-old orphan from Russia. The memoir is divided into two sections. ''The Proud American" chronicles my father's life in Romania, his escape from that country after the Communists took control in 1944, his emigration to Canada and then America, and my childhood in Florida. "Fulfilling the Dream" covers my career as a newspaper reporter, my struggle with infertility, and my tortuous path toward adopting a child from an orphanage in Moscow. With my return to Eastern Europe, the memoir traces how I finally completed the circle my father began when he left Romania as a young man with no money, education or family, but simply with the dream of a better life in America.
    • Love in America

      Whorton, James, Jr.; Fellner, Steve; Black, Ralph; Uebbing, Danny; The College at Brockport (2014-05-23)
      This thesis is a selection of chapters and chapter excerpts from my short novel Love in America, a tale of two unlikely young lovers in present day America. They are only deemed “unlikely,” however, through the eyes of Ben Rose, a recently returned Iraq War veteran who finishes college in western NY on the GI Bill and heads west for Hollywood to try his hand at acting. After burning through limited funds, partying with a group of aspiring talents and other transients at the Chateau de Soleil, a temporary house for actors in LA, Ben must return home. Intermittently, Ben reflects on his past relationships, particularly concerning his German girlfriend whom he met during his time stationed in Germany while in the Army and whose scathing cultural critiques of America and her own beliefs in an “open relationship” and the freedom of European casual sex leave Ben freshly burned and bitter in his own country. Although the idea of living as an expatriate writer had always appealed to Ben since he read Hemingway, an adventurous, spirited American love affair swings his way in Samantha Kelly, a 22-year-old seemingly mainstream Harry Potter-aficionado whose coquettish attractiveness allures Ben to the point of obsession. Although a girl already spoken for, Samantha admires Ben and his risqué self-published novel. However, as an older veteran who never had much luck with such sociable American girls as Samantha, Ben is not surprised when she drifts out of contact with him. As he develops a modest writing career by finally publishing legitimately, Ben meets with Samantha once more after a small reading in Manhattan for a night of romance in the city.
    • Maintaining Untraditional Virginity

      Hurd, Ashley Norris; The College at Brockport (2009-09-01)
      Ovid's Metamorphoses contains a world full of supernatural beings, violent confrontations, and scandalous relationships. Many myths contain stories of sexual pursuits, which often involve a god lusting after a young virgin. Those tales establish the fragility of virginity within the poem, especially when a female is a beautiful huntress. According to those factors, Diana, the virgin goddess of the hunt, should be unable to maintain her virginity. However, she defies convention and keeps her virginity, despite the many factors within her life that align her with the sexual pursued females. Because of that, Diana stands out among gods and mortals alike as a superior being whose life does not follow the standard rules of her world. In a similar manner, the Cullen family from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight maintains their own brand of virginity by choosing to drink animal blood instead of human blood. They defy the conventions of their species and live as a part of human society. Although the Cullens possess a different type of virginity than Diana, there are striking similarities between the vampires and the goddess. Through their virgin connection, the two texts demonstrate the universality of the conception of virginity and the complexity that can come with it.
    • Making Confessions: The Confessional Voice Found Among Literary Genres

      Harrod, Mary Beth; The College at Brockport (2007-05-12)
      This graduate thesis will explore the term "confessional" and its application to literature. The term "confessional" varies; confessional writing can take different forms in different genres. In this thesis, works by contemporary authors of personal lyric poetry, memoir, and fiction are discussed and an investigation of confessional writing within their work is undertaken. While not all authors use a direct confessional voice, the overall effect of their writing creates an intimate space between the writer and reader. A sense of self-reflection on the part of the author gives a confessional feel to his or her work. While the lines of literary conventions separate genres, confessional writing tends to blur those lines by bringing the message of the work to the forefront. A piece of literature said to be of a particular genre is challenged when one discovers a confessional voice, as it weaves itself among genres and changes the face of the genre itself. While the confessional voice may be less pronounced in fiction, when we think we hear it speaking, albeit unconsciously on the part of the writer, the same effect takes place: writer and reader become engaged in a communicative relationship that reveals secrets of the heart. In exploring personal lyric poetry and memoir of Gregory Orr, personal lyric poetry of Linda Gregerson and Frank Bidart, short stories and essays by Susan Sontag, and finally, the short stories, essays, and letters of Flannery O'Connor, confessional writing proves to be ambiguous in meaning and difficult to define; nevertheless, each author uniquely incorporates varying degrees of confessionalism to achieve a sense of intimacy that is not a result of the genre they are working in, but in how they say what they do within the genre they have chosen to write in.
    • Man Hours: The Construction of a Poet

      Gardner, Kevin; The College at Brockport (2010-10-04)
      Man Hours : the Construction of a Poet is a collection of Kevin Gardner's work designed to display the creative tools acquired in pursuit of a Master's Degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, at SUNY Brockport. This thesis attempts to take a close look at Gardner's work in an effort to showcase these skills. As a more seasoned student of writing, significant and extensive life experience plays a key role in this collection. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, along with years of working in the construction industry, has influenced this collection in ways that supplement elements learned in the classroom. It is also the author's attempt to examine and present these influences in a way that shows the blending of life experience and higher education to create poetry that has meaning while appealing to a broad audience.
    • Man's Search for Freedom: A Continuing Theme in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and Robert Frost

      Maier, Anne C.; The College at Brockport (1982-01-01)
      As man searches for personal freedom he is confronted with limitations which not only complicate his quest, but remind him of his fragile human condition. The more he struggles with these limitations the more he questions the reality of ultimate freedom. In the following thesis selected poems of William Wordsworth and Robert Frost are used to define man's limitations and illustrate the various ways man attempts to overcome them. The first chapter explores some of the ways man limits his own personal growth. An individual's fear, indecision, and lack of creativity, for example, often prevent him from moving forward in the direction of freedom. This discussion leads to the matter of how man is limited by other men, both in the problems created by personal relationships and society as a whole. The third and fourth chapters present those limitations which are imposed on man by the greater forces of Nature, Time, and Space. Man's inability to overcome the power of Nature, to control the passing of time, and to fully understand the complexities of the universe, force him to submit to his limited state of existence. Robert Frost suggests a philosophy of simple acceptance. Once man realizes his limitations and learns to live with them, he will find happiness, peace, and a satisfying sense of freedom. Delving too deeply into the mysteries of life is a futile exercise, resulting in frustration and confusion. William Wordsworth, on the other hand, puts faith in the power of the imagination as the key to freedom. Once the imagination is discovered and developed by the guiding hand of Nature, man is no longer a limited being. His imagination provides him the freedom· to view the world creatively and attain joy and peace in his earthly life. Placing the works of two poets of two completely different literary periods side by side, supports the idea that man continually contemplates his limited existence. Furthermore, each poet offers the hope that man can indeed live happily despite his limitations.
    • Mayberry Days

      Reed-Mullen, KaTrina; The College at Brockport (2008-11-06)
      This memoir consists of a series of short vignettes, each of which is a standalone story. These vignettes tell about the writer's childhood: the experience of growing up in the Deep South in the 1960s and 70s.
    • Moral Absolutism in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

      Rodgers, Jennifer; The College at Brockport (2010-04-28)
      The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, explores several complex and trans-historic topics, many of which relate to the playwright's experiences during the McCarthy era. Miller asks his audience to value independent and personal truths, which he defines as more morally right and good than social truths. This is because, in the playwright's mind, social truths are often manipulated and exploited to gain a desired personal result regardless of how they affect other's lives. In order to illuminate this point, he repeatedly plays with the concepts of truth and lies, confession and accusation, as well as public and private knowledge. Although Miller represents each as opposites, they are not necessarily contradictory, nor are they fixed absolutes. I will argue that truth cannot be an absolute concept and that the society and its individual members must somehow reconcile the fact that they are linked, one with the other. Communal and individual definitions of concepts such as truth and lies, good and bad, public and private, and controversial acts, such as confession and accusation, are not necessarily binary opposites. To classify them as such is to underestimate the role that they play in The Crucible.