• Sarah Orne Jewett : Transcendence in Nature

      Leenay, Kathryn; The College at Brockport (2000-01-01)
      Sarah Orne Jewett wrote about people and things “just as they are” (Silverthorne 35) . Her father had given her this advice and, in a way, she made it her mission in life to acquaint people with each other. Despite her simple language and seemingly simple characters her work is full of wisdom and touches on m any universal themes. Willa Cather believed Jewett’s last novel, The Country of the Pointed Firs, deserved a place alongside Huckleberry Finn and The Scarlet Letter (Cather vi). Although some critics in Jewett’s time complained of “very little plot” (Silverthorne 143 ) in her stories, other influential critics and publishers, such as William Dean Howells, enjoyed and revered her “ free movement, unfettered by the limits of plot, and keeping only to the reality, which no other eye than hers has seen so subtly, so humorously, so touchingly” (Silverthorne 207) . I will analyze The Country of the Pointed Firs using the 1925 edition, which includes the three appended stories: “The Queen’s Twin,” “A Dunnet Shepherdess,” and “William’s Wedding.” Natural settings in the novel and in the appended stories allow characters in Country to transcend apparently conventional human limitations such as physical and emotional isolation from community, linear time, traditional Christian religions, and gender. The anonymous narrator in the novel develops pliant and enriching relationships with other community members as she “returns” to her true self. In the first few chapters of Country, she realizes that isolation from community can renew the soul and make one a stronger member of a community in the long run. This Transcendentalist tenet is expanded throughout the original novel, as well as the appended stories. Using natural settings as a "school" for transcendence, Jewett also touches on the Transcendentalist tenet of “the great and small," as seen in examinations of linear time and traditional Christian beliefs in the novel. Most of the characters in the novel are of a mature age, appearing to be beyond the years of parturition. Despite this ‘‘limitation," the characters are able to prosper on seemingly infertile, rocky land. They also appear physically younger than their true age, thereby continually contradicting the limitations of linear time on a body. The merging of the two extremes, great and small, is a collapse of a traditionally linear, hierarchical structure. In other words, when the two extremes are brought together as one there is no longer a need for a bipolar relationship between youth and age, good and bad, and man and woman. An embodiment of all forces in oneness, as seen in the work of two of Jewett's influences, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emanual Swedenborg, leads to transcendence. The Christian belief that the greatness of God was born into the microcosm of a human baby, Jesus Christ, is an example of the "great and small" collapsing into one. Jewett uses and, in a way, redefines this image when she juxtaposes the maternal Mother Earth figure, Mrs. Blackett, with the conventional Christian minister at the Bowden Reunion. She introduces a woman -centered Christianity in her book where the church is found in the domestic setting of the home. Finally, Jewett transcends gender role limitations (again using natural settings for her place of education) by allowing characters to visit both their maternal and paternal selves. Country is a subtle novel that reveals Jewett’s own exploration and, essentially, reconstruction of many traditional nineteenth century beliefs. Jewett does not work with young heroines like Alcott's Jo or Bronte’s Jane Eyre to convey her message, but rather she returns, as the title of Country’s first chapter implies, to the teachings of the past and chooses an older woman, Almira Todd, as a guide and mentor for both the reader and the narrator. In her characters, Jewett reveals the wisdom of all ages and so taps into perpetual knowledge, growth, and a youthful spirit.
    • Screaming in Silence

      Reisig, Kristen; The College at Brockport (2003-12-09)
      This thesis project examines the fourth writing genre, creative non-fiction; memoir specifically. The introductory chapter considers the structural components, or lack thereof, in this type of creative non-fiction essay. Point of view and its various merits in memoir writing are discussed as well as the clarifying question of “subjective truth” from the writer’s perspective. The remaining chapters are original, creative non-fiction essays; memoir crafted from the author’s life that explore childhood, family dynamics, and coming-of-age.
    • Scuttlebutt: Stories

      Shamblin, Terry L.; The College at Brockport (2000-01-01)
      This thesis project discusses writing creatively as it leverages rhetorical and compositional strategies as part of the creative process. The paper also argues that the use of varied disciplinary theories and knowledge from such diverse areas as psychology, sociolinguistics, grammar, mathematics and statistics, all assist in writing fiction. It discusses the study of ethos, pathos, and logos, as it has bearing on the writing of short fiction, and its use to foster a more effective writing process. The remainder of the project includes ten original, short fiction pieces.
    • Seesaw

      Povinelli, Caroline M.; The College at Brockport (2012-05-11)
      The twenty-three poems in this collection are invested in the examination of memories. The author's personal experiences and observations from childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are thoroughly explored using original images and inventive language. Influenced by the works of Cesar Vallejo, Kimiko Hahn, and Karen Volkman, among others, these poems describe scenes and relationships from the past in a surreal, non-linear manner. The result is a highly detailed and emotional account of people and places that have made a significant impact on the author's life. Themes of resentment, guilt, loss, and regret provide a tangible link from poem to poem. A critical introduction explains the author's stylistic preferences and literary influences. The poems range from one page to three pages in length, and are separated into three sections. Each of these sections represents a period of time in the author's life.
    • Sexual Desire and Social Conventions in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century American Seduction Novels

      McIntyre, Christine; The College at Brockport (2000-04-01)
      A woman’s role in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a difficult one. A woman’s purity was her most valued attribute. Women were the source of sexual morality within society. Men would only be as moral as women would demand. Seduction novels were a popular phenomenon at the time. They would often show the horrible consequences of women who were unable to retain their chastity until marriage. In this master thesis four novels are used as examples including Charlotte Temple, Maggie, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and House of Mirth. Charlotte Temple tells the story of the conflict between rationality and romance. Charlotte ignores the warnings of her mother and is seduced by a soldier who has no intentions of marrying her. Charlotte’s life ends in tragedy. Charlotte can be a warning for girls on what not to do. Maggie shows a similar fate within a lower class society. Maggie is a naïve and innocent girl who wishes to escape from poverty. She sees her chance in her brother’s friend, and gives herself to him. Her friends and family abandon her as used-up and she also has a tragic ending. This story speaks for the perceived value of women and the false morals of the time. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography of a young girl born into slavery. Her master continuously harasses her. Not wanting to be forced into a sexual encounter, she instead chooses to take a lover. She shows a person who wants to live up to society’s moral standards, but cannot. The last book, House of Mirth, focuses on upper class women, and their role as parasitic ornaments to their husbands. The main character in this story seeks to marry a wealthy man, even at the expense of love. She feels love towards a poor man, but chases after wealthier prospects.
    • Shakespeare, Ovid, and the Expression of Feminine Voice

      Kryger, Rebecca J.; The College at Brockport (2008-05-15)
      The way in which femininity is represented in literature often reinforces the idea of the objectified woman and the dominant man. William Shakespeare, influenced by the writings of Ovid, attempts to challenge these social constructs by developing alternative feminine voices in his works. Lavinia from Titus Andronicus, Lucrece from The Rape of Lucrece, and Imogen from Cymbeline serve as examples of women who must utilize a voice outside what is characteristically feminine in order to gain power from the "unspeakable" events such as rape and mutilation that alter each woman's perception of self. These women also prove how the eyes of a voyeur can manipulate and misinterpret the voice a woman communicates.
    • Shrews, Jews, and Public Dues: The High Price of Rhetorical Savvy

      Bianchi, Tina J.; The College at Brockport (2005-04-30)
      The role of the socially inferior Other is fulfilled in both The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice via Katherina and Shylock, respectively. The way in which these two characters are received by the modern reader in comparison to the way they would have been received by Shakespeare's contemporaries is a major focus of this thesis. It contains sections on the social parallels between Katherina and Shylock, rhetorical parallels between the two plays, and the problem of interpretation and classification as comedy for the modern reader. It also takes into account the plays' settings, especially Merchant, as it traverses a complex set of boundaries in relation to re-assimilation of Jews in Venice, and it acknowledges the conscience of the modern day reader who may find the treatment of Shylock to be tragic as opposed to comedic, and who may feel a sense of regret for Katherina's transformation into a socially accepted model of womanhood as defined by the patriarchal boundaries of the time. However, it leaves space for debate, as both the writer and the text are suspect under the light of analysis.
    • Singing the Song of the Eunuch

      Sanderson, Andy; The College at Brockport (2007-04-01)
      Form, stated as a critical component of poetry writing in “alchemic” combination with image, word choice, and resonance, as they bear on the creative writing process, is explored in this critical and creative thesis project. The poetic voice as it is informed by "Sanderson's Four Axioms,” (named above – form, image, word choice, resonance) are revealed through examples of published poets, critical suggestions, and original poetry. The creative work is written in a variety of traditional and non-traditional forms primarily focused on the author’s personal experiences as a lifelong resident of Western New York. In essence, the creative section presents a series of eclogues that explore voice in both its stylistic and thematic manifestations.
    • Some of the Parts: Poems and What They Can Do

      Yockel, David W.; The College at Brockport (2011-04-18)
      " Some of the Parts" begins with an introductory essay that focuses on my personal poetic vision as well as discussing my belief in the operation of poetic language. It starts by exploring the path of my graduate study and goes on to work through the mechanics of denotation and connotation, among many other poetic devices. It shows my belief in the immortality available through poetry's attention to specific moments in life. The three sections of poems were written over the past two years. The themes are set up to flow into and out of each other, between ars poetica, nature and beauty, and my choice of forms: anaphora, list poem, etc. I hope that the order of the pieces works well and ultimately colors my poetic aesthetic correctly and exhibits the import I place on the smaller "parts" of the human condition.
    • Something Elemental

      Bell, Samantha J.; The College at Brockport (2004-05-10)
      This thesis project begins by defining poetry; arguing that it is more than an art form, that it is an extension of self, an expression of the poet’s humanity. It discusses the poetic form, its devices and strategies, through a close analysis of several poets - Sharon Olds, Rainier Maria Rilke, Jane Mead, and even e.e. cummings, which completes the introductory section. The remaining chapters are comprised of original poetry – traditional and experimental, each labelled under the theme of clouds, with the sections representing various aspects of life. Cirrus – roaming from place to place; Cumulus - finding meaning in the world; Nimbus - what it means to be female; and finally, Cumulonimbus - satisfaction and completion.
    • Something Solid

      Niedermeier, James A.; The College at Brockport (2006-03-26)
      This thesis project examines the genre of creative non-fiction. It argues for consideration of a new classification for this form of essay writing, beyond any “black and white” category which limits and cannot fully capture the idiosyncratic nature of true creative non-fiction. The author states, “there needs to be . . . a third category, one beyond nonfiction and fiction; to account for the blending of the two” (Niedermeier 8). The opening section explores the writing of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Tracy Kidder, and Frank McCourt with regard to its creative non-fiction aspects and also discusses Guskind’s concept of “three dimensional truth.” The concluding sections are original, creative non-fiction pieces.
    • Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture

      McCarthy, Danny McGarr; The College at Brockport (2005-05-05)
      Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture is almost the first twenty thousand words of a novel. These five chapters detail Calvin Green's discovery that his dreams are being shown at the Aztec Theater in Denver, CO. Clearly, the novel has supernatural elements, and it offers a voice in the magical realism genre. However, along with the fantastic aspects of the story are a series of probing questions into the nature of artifice, privacy, and celebrity.
    • Straddling the Line

      Karas, Janelle K.; The College at Brockport (2007-04-25)
      This research project focuses on the tension between fiction and creative non-fiction as they are defined and understood as separate styles of writing. The introductory section examines the scholarly discussion of “truth” and imagination and the blending of fact and fiction in this re-imagined genre of writing. The research considers the creative non-fiction memoir writing of Maya Angelou, Augusten Burroughs, and Dave Eggers. The concept of reader’s “belief” as they relate to a given creative non-fiction piece and the reality of perspective as a means to position and understand this type of writing is also explored. The reminder of the project includes original creative non-fiction and fiction pieces.
    • Stygiophobia and Other Fears of Death and Loneliness: Collected Fiction

      Meli, Jennifer E.; The College at Brockport (2010-05-05)
      This creative thesis is comprised of five short stories and an introduction, which details artistic influences and other factors related to writing. The first story, "Through the Electronic Looking Glass," is a story simultaneously about a dissolving relationship and the intersection between art and commerce. ''Stygiophobia," the title work of the collection meaning "fear of hell," deals with a Christian protestor' s experience at a gay pride parade. "So Damned Civilized" tells the story of an office dinner party gone horribly wrong and gives a glimpse into the evils of human nature. "Affliction," at its core, is about a zombie apocalypse and its effects on a suburban strip mall, but it also explores whether people can put aside their differences for the common good ... during an election season. Finally, "Love, Backwards" centers around a teenage girl and her deceased sister's boyfriend and the ways in which the two of them cope with loss. All of the stories are tied together by either the threat of death (from zombies, the afterlife, and car accidents) or loneliness (from infidelity, rejection, and moving away), and that both of these concepts embody a sort of "hell" for the stories' characters. I feel that each story highlights my achievements in Brockport's Creative Writing M.A. program.
    • Teaching to the Canon or the Students: The Use of Popular Literature in ELA Classrooms

      Sanders, Autumn H.M.; The College at Brockport (2011-06-01)
      There is an explicit need for the education system to expand the current canon to integrate popular literature into middle and high school classrooms. Students at these levels are being underexposed to this group of texts in the classroom, but many are plunging themselves into contemporary works at home. The authors of young adult books are aiming their texts to reach out to those learning at the secondary level, while many of the books being taught there were originated for the general amusement of an entirely different generation and age group. For the purpose of this paper the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer will serve as a model of contemporary author deliberately using and challenging the devices of classic literature within her own work. Not only will Meyer's work be explored side by side with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Bronte' s Jane Eyre because of their common theme as love stories, but also because of the minor parallels between each text that Meyer illuminates by bringing her predecessors' works into her own text. Along with this, the way in which Meyer's vampire are similar to or recreate the vampires of Bram Stoker's iconic novel Dracula will be discussed. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling will be an example of a contemporary work that educators can use to draw connections between popular and canonical literature where the author does not mention classic pieces of literature. Harry Potter will be places alongside other orphans of literature like those found in Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Not only will these texts be discussed as orphan texts, but also as pieces of literature in which power struggles are driving forces. In addition, the future implications that popular literature has for the classroom will be explored.
    • The Adventures of Frank, Gordon, and Some Other People Too

      McMahon, Garrett; The College at Brockport (2010-05-26)
      This thesis project incorporates the idea of surrealism as a device to liberate the writer from the necessity of logical sense while using “captivating imagery and bizarre, mind-boggling events” to craft emotionally resonant, original prose. The influence of Irish authors, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Flan O’Brien, are noted as well as short story author, Donald Barthelme. The author claims several film styles and television comedy genre, found in the likes of Monty Python and The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, as the multiple muse that informs the project. The central theme of friendship dynamics are explored in this original work that comprises the concluding section of the project.
    • The Blaze Inside a Gray Heart

      Rainey, Lydia; The College at Brockport (2014-12-01)
      This thesis is a collection of prose and poetry I have written as a graduate student at both the College at Brockport, State University ofNew York and New College at Oxford University. Preceding the collection is an introduction which explores my influences, stylistic choices, and voices expressed throughout my work. This collection includes three short stories: two fiction, one creative non-fiction. While one tows the line between observing and living, another ventures through the world of prisoners on death row, and the last unearths the future of the death business. The poetry in this collection can be humorous and somber. They confront family, loss, social injustice, and death.
    • The Divine Clockmaker: Christian Principles of Time and Order in Alfred Hitchcock's Films

      Moore, Matthew Dwight; The College at Brockport (2005-04-22)
      Alfred Hitchcock displayed in his personal, artistic, and professional life an underlying assumption that time is closely associated with law and order; this assumption is manifest in his feature films. The belief in a rational universal system, fostered during his formative years, presupposes an intelligent Creator and an orderly design. The related themes of saving time, keeping time, doing time, and being on time assume a Christian morality based on individual responsibility, the possibility of redemption, and the importance of reinforcing faith with action. Consequently, time serves as a metaphor for law and order in Hitchcock's films. The innumerable references to lateness, clocks, and schedules throughout his corpus reflect the significance and ubiquity of his divinely ordered Christian cosmology. This religious paradigm is apparent in most of his major American films, such as Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, and North by Northwest.
    • The Failure of the Heroine in Ursula K. Le Guin's The Tombs of Atuan

      Kinsey, Tom; The College at Brockport (2007-05-02)
      This thesis, a study of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Tombs of Atuan, explores the roles of the hero and heroine in relationship to Celtic mythology and the societal boundaries and strictures within the novel. It also investigates the symbolic failure of the Ring of Erreth-Akbe, which mirrors the imagery of rebirth found in the Holy Grail and the Celtic cauldron, and its relationship to the failure of the heroine as a feminist symbol. The Tombs of Atuan is unsuccessful in establishing a strong feminist heroine despite its roots within the Celtic tradition and the initial power of the heroine over the hero.
    • The Inspiration to Activism: Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut as Hopeful Critics of Humanity

      Peperato, Patricia A.; The College at Brockport (2006-06-07)
      "The Inspiration to Activism: Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut as Hopeful Critics of Humanity," posits that although both authors have been considered pessimists and even fatalists, a study of No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger and Slaughterhouse-Five supports that they do maintain hope for improvement. Based on a study of philosophical theories regarding human nature, free will, and moral responsibility, Chapter One, "The Literary Presentation of a Social Philosophy" discusses textual evidence which leads the reader to understand what both Twain and Vonnegut thought about the possibility of free will and moral responsibility. Consideration is given to the dynamics present when an individual interacts with both the small community and with society at large. The chapter concludes that both authors see potential for greater humanity within the context of the community but that they also understand that society in general suppresses free will. Chapter two, "Historical and Fictional Narratives: Versions of Truth" employs the tenets of New Historicism to analyze the implications of employing fiction to challenge history. Both texts challenge institutional control of truth and declare that events should remain open to interpretation. To Twain and Vonnegut, truth-value must be gauged according to the expectation that any truthful interpretation of reality should encourage sympathy and humanity rather than injustice and cruelty. "The Artist-Activist: Hope Despite Despair," the third chapter, considers the effectiveness of Twain and Vonnegut as activists by studying the characteristics that enable their accessibility -- humor, ethics, and literary style. This chapter also examines the role of the imagination to create a vision for change and to implement that vision, concluding that as artists, Vonnegut and Twain achieve the goals of the artist-activist with a balance of satire, didacticism, and accessibility.