• 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.
    • Night Traveler and Other Works

      Iuppa, M.J.; The College at Brockport (2000-05-01)
      This thesis project centers itself in a discussion of the poetic form. Using the metaphor, poetry as landscape, the author states that poets establish common ground with the reader and allow readers “access to the poet’s exterior and interior views” through the use of this poetic convention. The project offers further examination of several poets’ work, in close analysis, which springboard consideration and definition of the elements of poetry with special attention to imagery. In particular, the project’s analysis of Collins’ personal landscape and Glück’s spiritual landscape in their poetry expands the conversation on the use of “imagery, metaphor, and statement” within this art form. The concluding discussion of the thesis also looks at the concepts of self-awareness, transformation, and authenticity as desired results of poetry’s impact on individuals and society. The remaining sections of the thesis collection offer original poetry, creative essays, and a play, This Heat. A brief introduction and analysis of the original poetry collection, Night Traveler, is included in the project.
    • Nihilism in Melville’s Moby Dick

      Barnum, John E.; The College at Brockport (1972-01-01)
      This thesis project positions itself as a close examination of Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, as a fictional statement of the author's nihilistic view of man and his world. The paper argues that Melville's nihilism derives primarily from his belief that man's perception of himself and the world is relativistic. Definitions of nihilism and the era in which Melville authored the novel, a time when traditional values and belief systems were being questioned and discarded, are explored. The project labels Melville as a “philosophical” novelist in his treatment of the character of Ahab, in particular, as the nihilistic aspects of the character are revealed in this classic work of literature. In addition, the project also examines the contrasting "healthy" nihilism as exhibited in the novel by Ishmael.
    • Notes from an Un-hyphenated American

      Flores-Salvaggio, Cacilda; The College at Brockport (2004-12-18)
      The introduction to this thesis project discusses the idea of poetic prose as a literary device to draw in the reader and create a sense of closeness within creative non-fiction, memoir specifically. Several noted memoirists’ work is also discussed under a close reading lens examining their particular style of creating non-fiction prose. The use of punctuation to control pace in writing and the idea of the hyphen as a means to mirror the author’s “hyphenated” identity is maintained throughout the creative chapters that follow. The project concludes with several chapters composing the author’s original memoir which explores the idea and reality of the immigration experience in this “coming-to-America” tale.
    • Ochreville

      Cotsonas, Thomas G.; The College at Brockport (2006-05-01)
      Ochreville is a cycle of stories set in one quarter-mile stretch of road in a small town in Upstate New York. Each story represents a different time in the neighborhood's history, starting with the clearing of the land in the late 1960's and progressing up to the present day when almost all the woods and fields have been destroyed. The stories deal primarily with the paralyzing effects of conformity in a suburban American setting.
    • Open Endings and Questionable Liberation in Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, Cat 's Eye, and The Handmaid's Tale

      Klick, Donna M.; The College at Brockport (2003-08-08)
      This thesis project discusses the literary work of Margaret Atwood, specifically highlighting Alias Grace (1996), Cat's Eye (1989), and The Handmaid's Tale (1986). As part of the discussion, the project considers Michel Foucault's theories on how power and discourse shape the individual and Sigmund Freud's work on how repetition aids an individual in obtaining power, and argues that Atwood’s female protagonists are not only shaped by their imagined environments but are liberated from the oppression within them. Given the focus on female protagonists and how they may liberate themselves, the research also considers Peter Brooks' work with regard to open-ended narratives in order to assess if these protagonists realize their quest for liberation. The study is broken into five chapters, dedicating separate chapters to the discussion of each novel noted above, with both introductory framework and conclusions at the close of the project. The conclusive comments draw attention to the author’s intent to challenge the reader to understand the societal commentary infused in the literature and to think about the question, “What if?”
    • Orson Scott Card: Without Joseph Smith and Mormonism There Would Be No Seventh Son, No Red Prophet, No Alvin Maker

      Porschet, Alma Jean; The College at Brockport (1994-01-01)
      This thesis project examines the idea of religious belief as an integral part of Orson Scott Card’s science fiction and fantasy novels, the Tales of Alvin Maker specifically. Similar to the work of C.S. Lewis, often viewed as literature through which the author reveals Christian doctrine, beliefs, and iconic images, this thesis project examines the fantastical literary work of Card as he articulates Mormon history, tradition and doctrine in an “other-world setting,” with a primary focus on Mormonism's mystical and archetypal aspects.
    • Out of Many

      Campbell, Allora; The College at Brockport (2013-01-28)
      Out of Many is a thesis collection which examines the themes of family and farm life. As the oldest of ten children, a homeschool graduate, and a farm girl, the intricacies of familial relations, in addition to the bonds to animals and the land itself, all played a vital role in my formation as a writer. Out of Many is a reflection of those influences and consists of a critical introduction and two short works of fiction, "Chasing Kathleen" and "Anna's Dog." The "Critical Introduction" offers an explanation of my literary influences and the stylistic choices which shape each story. The stories themselves, although fictional, are based extensively upon actual events and concentrate upon the relationships between two sets of sisters. "Chasing Kathleen's" narrator, Kim, struggles with an impending separation from her younger sister, Kathleen, as Kathleen prepares to leave for college and Kim remains to work on her family's farm. "Anna's Dog," through the eyes of Bernadette 'Benji' Barton, depicts a strained relationship between Benji and her distant older sister, Anna, when Anna decides to bring home a dog without parental approval.