• 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.
    • Passive Spectacles and Resilient Heroines: Examining the Female Gaze in Cinematic Adaptations of The Scarlet Letter, The Last of the Mohicans, and Little Women

      Cassidy, Megan E.; The College at Brockport (2006-05-01)
      In her 1975 article, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey writes, "Unchallenged, mainstream film coded the erotic into the language of the dominant patriarchal order" (60). She argues that in film, this patriarchal language produces images of women who are displayed for the erotic enjoyment of male spectators, playing out male subconscious erotic fantasies on screen. Using Mulvey's articles as a theoretical framework, I look for evidence of the active female gaze in the cinematic adaptations of 1he Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, The Last of the Mohicans written by James Fenimore Cooper in 1826 and Little Women written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868. For each chapter of my thesis, I examine a pair of adaptations beginning with the 1934 and 1995 versions of the Scarlet Letter, followed by the 1936 and 1992 versions of The Last of the Mohicans, and concluding with the 1933 and 1994 versions of Little Women. Each of the earlier films from the 1930s is encoded in this patriarchal structure to some degree. Mulvey's essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" was published in 1975. While her theories on patriarchal encryption can be seen in the films from the 1930s, advances in areas such as equal rights, political correctness, and affirmative action have influenced the filmmakers of the later 1990s films. Due to the changes in the political atmosphere, each of the three films from the 1990s demonstrate a greater awareness of the female audience and struggle to allow women to have a strong gaze.
    • Performative National Cultures: Hybridity, Blurred Boundaries, and Agency in Untouchable and Brick Lane

      McMonagle, Abby A.; The College at Brockport (2010-04-21)
      Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable unite through the complex examination of nation and culture that they both perform. By utilizing post-colonial and cultural theories, as well as Judith Bulter's notion of performativity, it is possible to thoroughly study Ali and Anand's portrayal of national culture through their characters and writing. Since these novels focus on characters that experience immigration to Britain or colonization by the British, Ali and Anand employ the opportunities provided by such experiences, which include immigrant and colonized characters that" change their collection of cultural practices and then are contrasted with other characters in similar positions, to emphasize the hybrid national cultures of their characters and novels. These characters' national cultures are revealed to be performative as they make passionate attachments to identification categories, perform the normative practices mechanically, and desire the privileged national culture's attributes, but are still able to rearticulate their national cultural identity within the preexisting signification system. Thus, Ali and Anand highlight the performative construction of national culture by drawing attention to the performances of the hybrid national cultural identities that they portray in and through their novels. These insights that are gained from the juxtaposition of Ali and Anand's writing also trace what has or has not changed about the function of national culture and how the definition of "Britishness" has evolved to expose that this category is in constant flux.
    • Pharisees and False Apostles: Lollardy and Antifraternlism in Fragment III of the Canterbury Tales

      Peet, Donald; The College at Brockport (2007-06-05)
      In 1986, Penn R Szittya finished his groundbreaking composition, The Antifraternal Tradition in Medieval Literature, thus becoming the leading antifraternal writer in Chaucerian scholarship. Prior to Szittya's novel, very few scholars concerned themselves with the nature of antifraternalism in the Canterbury Tales. Of the critics who wrote on the subject, many could be grouped into two categories, those who felt that the Tales were littered with antifraternalist ideas and those who disputed the presence of antifraternalism. Even today, after the wake of Szittya's Antifraternal Tradition, critics still fall into the same camps. To the best of my knowledge, none of these critics has dealt with all of Fragment III. They have chosen, rather, to deal only with The Friar's and The Summoner's Tales, failing to take into consideration who drives them into the feud-The Wife of Bath. Looking at Fragment III through an antifraternal lens brings a new aspect into the analysis of the Canterbury Tales. We no longer see, as Szittya states, "a convention of the pairing in the poetry of fraternal controversies," but a triplet embedded in religious controversy (197). By focusing on The Wife of Bath as a Lollard and discussing how she is able to further the antifraternal debate between the Summoner and the Friar, we can begin to understand why each of these characters intrude upon the Wife's tale. The explanation that I give is that Alisoun, as a Lollard, gives a Lollard sermon on celibacy in hopes of drawing the Friar into rebuking her tale.
    • Pity Those Who Live Without Love: The Function of Love in Harry Potter

      Creighton, Jolene E.; The College at Brockport (2011-04-07)
      J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are extraordinarily popular; readers zealously respond to these texts with unprecedented adoration and dedication. Generally, critics attempt to explicate the popularity of Harry Potter in one of two ways: through an examination of either Rowling’s literary artistry, or an analysis of the relentless marketing of the culture industry. Coupled together, the aforementioned analyses sufficiently explain the initial success of Rowling’s series. However, the only way to understand the unflagging popularity of Harry Potter is to elucidate the emotional adoration that these texts inspire in readers. This can be accomplished by explicating the primary theme of this series and then rationalizing the way that readers typically react to the connotative meaning of this theme. Subsequently, the conclusions that are drawn from this line of reasoning can be reinforced by juxtaposing the primary theme of Harry Potter with the themes that generally surface in Harry Potter fan fiction. Throughout this series, Rowling’s heroic protagonists are characterized as figures who are capable of altruistic affection. Conversely, her antagonists are ambitious figures who neither practice nor experience selfless love. This antithesis demonstrates that love is the primary point of contention and the principle theme in Harry Potter. It is possible to definitely prove that readers are responding to the theme of love in Harry Potter by examining the way that love functions in the fan fiction surrounding this series. The themes presented in fan literature reinforce and champion the fundamental meaning of Rowling’s novels. As a result, an examination of Harry Potter fan fiction indicates that readers are attracted to Rowling’s portrayal of love. Consequently, it is this theme which inspires the readers’ adoration and thus the series overwhelming popularity.
    • Poe's Guinea Pigs: Narrators and Perversity in Selected Tales

      Stroud, Matthew C.; The College at Brockport (2004-02-11)
      Many scholars and critics make the mistake of closely linking Poe with his narrators, some going so far as to say that Poe's tales are autobiographical, at least in part. While it may be said that certain of Poe's writings seem to reflect particular aspects of his life, a purely autobiographical reading falls short of any real understanding of Poe's stories. Examining five of Poe's writings-The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, "The Tell Tale Heart," "The Black Cat," "The Imp of the Perverse," and "The Cask of Amontillado"-in the order in which they were written reveals a pattern of thought developed through the selected tales as if they are a series. This pattern reveals that Poe is not connected to his narrators but is instead an observer; learning from their actions and recording for his readers what knowledge he is able to glean pertaining to the issue of perversity. Before delving into this reading, an examination of several critical viewpoints is offered. Each is broken down and individual strengths and weaknesses of each reading are offered as they relate to the reading being put forth. Upon completion of the review of literature, each of the five tales is closely examined, and the distinction between Poe and the narrator made clear. Additionally, the progression of thought through the tales in the series is demonstrated and it is shown how Poe seeks answers to certain questions, how those questions are answered by each of the tales, and what Poe does with these answers. In the first two, perversity is seen ,but undefined. In the third, it is defined but never fully explained or understood. In the fourth, it is explained in detail but never controlled. In the fifth it is knowingly used by the final narrator-guinea pig-in Poe's series of experiments.
    • Postmodern Historical Fiction: Aspects in Three Writers (Doctorow, Reed, and Boyle)

      Henry, Matthew A.; The College at Brockport (1992-01-01)
      The contents of this thesis include: Characteristics of postmodernism -- Approaching postmodern historical narratives -- E.L. Doctorow and Billy Bathgate -- Ishmael Reed and Flight to Canada -- T. Coraghessan Boyle and Water music.
    • Postmodernism in the Contemporary Novel : Non-linear and Dyssynchronous Elements in the Narratives of The White Hotel, The Golden Notebook, and The French Lieutenant's Woman

      McElroy, Thomas F.; The College at Brockport (2001-09-04)
      This paper seeks to examine theoretical aspects of the narrative by exploring the elements of time and structure that constitute selected novels of D.M. Thomas, Doris Lessing, and John Fowles. Specifically, this paper will explore the spatiotemporal aspects of the narrative, including the impact of chronological arrangement and structural organization on the formation of meaning. The novels examined in this paper-The White Hotel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, and The Golden Notebook- challenge assumptions about the interpretation of narrative and the validity of the novel as commentary on the human condition. Each seeks new ways of narration and new ways to challenge form and tradition. Because these types of confrontation are consistent with a postmodern aesthetic, this paper will examine the theories of such postmodern thinkers as Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Jean Baudrillard. Doing so will provide background for its exploration into such issues as the use of pastiche by postmodern authors, the presentation of fragmented narratives, the confusion of narrative voice, and the overall challenge to authority that is a defining aspect of postmodernism. The overall purpose of this paper is to consider whether or not the disordered temporality, fragmented structure, confused narration, and oppositional stance of the postmodernism novel signals an abrogation of fictional narrative as a fundamental human activity and need.
    • Proof: A Collection

      Alers, Amanda K.; The College at Brockport (2015-05-21)
      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.
    • Racism and Xenophobia in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," Herland and With Her in Ourland

      Mertsock, John S.; The College at Brockport (2001-01-01)
      This thesis project examines the literary work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman; in light of the xenophobic aspects of society in the 1920’s, namely the “Yellow Peril.” It argues that radical theories are present in the work of respected American scientists, political leaders, and authors of the time, and that Gilman, a feminist author, perpetuated these xenophobic ideas. This paper will focus on three of Gilman's major works, her short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," the utopian novel Herland and its sequel With Her in Ourland, from the perspective of race. It considers the symbols and images stemming from the "Yellow Peril" that pervade these works, conveying the racist notions inherent in popular turn-of-the-century sociological constructs, including eugenics and social Darwinism. The project notes Gilman’s role and progressive attitude regarding the feminist movement and oppression in tension with her xenophobic and racist beliefs as they co-exist in her personal writing and literary work.
    • Raymond Carver and the Menacing Search for Identity and Intimacy

      Bittlingmaier, Michael J.; The College at Brockport (2005-07-25)
      Raymond Carver has been called the master of menace by many critics who suggest his characters are devoid of self-awareness and have very few redeeming qualities regarding emotional growth. The menacing aspect of his work has been viewed by many readers as a plot-oriented tool that places the characters in hopeless situations the author refuses to let them out of, confining them to lives of "emotional paralysis and terror" (Wickenden 38). I intend to demonstrate the contrary that this menace is actually an incidental occurrence that derives from characters whose fears of being insubstantial are a result of identities in crisis. Failure to achieve a true delineated self provides the menace or tension that initiates the decision Carver’s characters are forced to make: to remain passively constrained by identity foreclosure or diffusion, or to liberate themselves from their self-imposed confines to actively set forth into moratorium: the explorative process of "forging an identity'' (Marcia, Patterson, and Sochting 1 2). While Developmental psychologist James A. Marcia' s identity statuses will provide a template for these adult characters experiencing a prolonged adolescent identity crisis, Erik H. Erikson's sixth stage of human development, Intimacy versus Isolation, will emphasize the lives of characters who fail to obtain true intimacy and who thus remain passive in their search for identity. Carver's use of first person narrative, ambiguity, epiphany, and symbolism are the technical aspects explored that emphasize the plight of the foreclosed and diffused character who must break free of the bonds of passivity by stepping forward into moratorium.
    • Re-visioning Medea

      Caronia, Nancy A.; The College at Brockport (2008-05-01)
      The Euripidean Medea has been canonized as the de facto standard of all characterizations found within the Medea tradition. The image of Euripides's infanticidal murderess has persisted for nearly two millennia due to interpretations that have furthered the impression that the infanticide is her most salient character trait. However, Pindar, Apollonios, and even Euripides did not make infanticide the central concern of their texts. Pindar privileges Medea's divinity and skills as a prophetess, while Apollonios focuses on the ways in which she was manipulated by gods and mortals. Euripides, who may have originated the infanticidal twist, uses the children's deaths to indict Jason and Creon's willful disregard of the hereditary blood curse on the House of Aeolus, to which both were connected. Roman texts such as Ovid's Heroides 12 and Metamorphoses 7, Gaius Valerius Flaccus's Argonautica, and Seneca's Medea reveal the complexity of the Medea tradition by explicitly and implicitly indicting the brutality and arrogance of patriarchal authority. Ovid creates an abandoned wife in Heroides 12 and a wife who would do anything for her husband, including transforming herself into an amoral supernatural being, in Metamorphoses 12. Valerius chooses to subvert Medea's purpose in the quest for the Golden Fleece by portraying the Argonauts as a band of pirates bent on destruction. Seneca's Medea displays the attributes of imperial rulers, which suggests that Seneca was crafting a veiled critique of the depravity and corruption found in the first century C. E. of Rome. Contemporary texts including Ludmila Ulitskaya's Medea and Her Children and Toni Morrison's Beloved privilege a post-modem self-consciousness, which further displaces reductive interpretations of Medea as a static figure of murder and mayhem. Ulitskaya chooses to create a Medea who more closely resembles the earliest strands of the Medea myth where she was privileged as an herbalist and a priestess; Medea Sinoply has never left her homeland and is portrayed as the nurturer and stability of her large extended family, which directly contradicts any interpretations of Medea that choose to see her as the bringer of chaos and destruction. Morrison's Sethe has the most explicit characteristics of Euripides's Medea, but Morrison uses these traits to challenge any simple notions of Sethe's killing of her daughter in a severe indictment of the institution of slavery. Morrison offers no easy answers since her Medea-like creation not only loses her daughter and her connection to her community, but also her sanity. Close examinations of these texts will reveal the complexity and sophisticated nature not only of the myth, but also of these authors’ creations.
    • “Reality" in the Adirondacks

      Mosier, Megan Ellen; The College at Brockport (2005-05-01)
      This thesis project celebrates the Adirondacks and chronicles the challenges of summer employment with a focus on the social gap between employer and employee. Crafted in a creative non-fiction style the author discusses outdoor literature, location as influential in character development, and segmenting as a means to focus essay content. The opening section discusses the project development as the author researched, experimented with, and polished the conventions necessary for a comprehensive creative non-fiction work. The remaining four sections include creative non-fiction essays.
    • Reconstructing Women's Subjectivity in Woman in the Nineteenth Century, The Lamplighter, and Behind a Mask

      Chaffee, Rachel L.; The College at Brockport (2004-11-02)
      Nineteenth-century American history is full of avid reformers, both women and men, seeking to make drastic changes in the social, cultural and educational systems of their country. Margaret Fuller, writer, critic and cultural reformer, was a key figure in the advances for women on all economic and social levels. It is with Fuller's approach to female identity as offered in Woman in the Nineteenth Century that this thesis centers upon. The first half of the thesis establishes the narrow domestic and educational framework of nineteenth-century female selfhood upon which Fuller bases her approach. The first two chapters examine the way in which Fuller offers woman a way into self-definition- making, encouraging not only the reevaluation of past and present female roles, but claiming that positive potential selfhood is attainable by repositioning and defining woman both inside and outside of the context of nineteenth-century social, cultural, and gender norms. By refuting the socially rigid definitions of female education, the social institution of marriage, and the confines of domesticity, Fuller's text offers us a lens through which to examine both the inherent flaws and possibilities in approaching female selfhood outside conventional nineteenth-century ideologies of personhood. Chapters three and four examine the practicality of Fuller's approach to female selfhood within the context of nineteenth-century women fiction, mainly, Susan Cummins' novel The Lamplighter and Louisa May Alcott's novella Behind a Mask. By examining the main characters of each story, Gerty Flint and Jean Muir, this thesis attempts to demonstrate the possibility of constructing a fully cultivated female identity based less on gender assumptions and more on the individual capacity Margaret Fuller believed all women held within them.
    • Representations of Women in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Man of Law’s Tale” and “Tale of Melibee”

      Volpe-van Dijk, Herma; The College at Brockport (1999-01-01)
      This thesis project discusses stereotypical representations of women as it explores Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Understanding the Middle Ages and its treatment of women in society and art, the first section explores the idea of clergy and aristocracy as dominant groups responsible for the creation of the feminine ideal and their subsequent subordination even as it presents paradoxical imagery (ex: Eve and Mary). Following chapters are devoted to female protagonists and highlight their representation as empowered in spite of societal constraints. Through a close reading of the text, the project specifically focuses on Custance, the protagonist from “The Man of Law's Tale,” and Prudence, from “The Tale of Melibee.” Although Custance and Prudence adhere to medieval cultural ideals of femininity, it further notes their central position in the narratives discussed, and presents an argument for the active and heroic nature of these women in Chaucer’s poetic tales. The project concludes that Chaucer’s female characters subvert traditional imagery, transcend stereotypical representations, and create an image of medieval women as independent subjects. (Artwork from the time period is included throughout the project as part of the discussion of gendered representation.)
    • Rescuing Van Weyden

      Kerner, Jonathan A.; The College at Brockport (2012-04-22)
      This work, submitted to satisfy the requirement for a thesis in creative writing at the State University of New York, Brockport, contains short works of fiction and of memoir. "The Smoothness of the Grain" is a study of one's interiority as it manifests without being understood. "Breakfast with Mom in Summer" is a fictionalized recollection of a young boy ' s pleasant morning. "Old Lady Gordon" is a loving remembrance informed by many boyhood experiences. "In Northern Wood" is a poetic recollection of a hunting experience. "Endless Winter" is a retelling of that experience that expresses angst about the author's world that was passed over in the earlier more reverent "In Northern Wood. " "The Fox" is a recollection of a hunting experience that waxes philosophically existential . "The Oswegatchie" is a fictional short story in which the author' s brooding interiority is on display while at the same time being a further celebration of friendship set in the outdoors. "The Sand Woman" is fiction inspired by Kobo Abe's The Woman in the Dunes depicting the awkwardness of strangers (who are forced to coexist) as it transforms into understanding and perhaps something more. Finally, "How I Got Here" is a memoir of the author's pursuit of a life that is purposeful.
    • Rivers of Divinity: The Impact of a Classical and Medieval Tradition on Chaucer and Malory

      Cirilla, Anthony G.; The College at Brockport (2010-05-15)
      Chaucer and Malory to classical river god providence, where epic poets wrestle with the ideas of empire and fate by questioning the river god's ability to exert his autonomy. Because river god providence is finite, it is susceptible to a peculiar frustration in exerting its legitimate authority at the hands of fate. Homer, Statius and Lucan all present versions of a failed river god providence, while Virgil alone creates a successful example of the tradition. His example, however, is in turn parodied by Ovid, which highlights further the ambiguities of river god providence. Medieval chroniclers and romancers utilize a Virgilian theme of river providence, removing the local gods and putting in their place either God's will or some other supernatural force (such as ghosts or fairies). River providence may be ambiguous at times in medieval literature, but is for the most part successful; the sovereign autonomy of river providence is questioned less than the moral autonomy of the hero who encounters these divinized rivers. Chaucer, through Criseyde’s oath in Troilus and Criseyde, suggests that river providence is a failure because it cannot assist a will in moral choices due to its pagan origins. Malory, on the other hand, presents in Le Marte D 'Arthur river providence which successfully executes its authority, ultimately suggesting that pagan traditions are acceptable when used to highlight Christian virtues. River providence ultimately investigates the frustration of autonomy in general, in a world which often aggressively limits any being's ability to make moral choices.