• 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.
    • The Marriage of Composition and Creative Writing

      McKay, Janice A.; The College at Brockport (2002-04-01)
      In this thesis, modeled after the Composition Studies Published Course Design Example, the author redefines creative writing in order to design a curriculum that will help students become more interested in and more engaged with their writing, and will, in turn, get students to resist writing less, to write more, and eventually, to write better. Like the Course Design Example, this curriculum includes a statement of locale that specifically ties the course to the State University of New York College at Brockport; a critical statement that provides a theoretical foundation for the course; a syllabus that provides detailed information on reading and writing assignments and class activities and explains how the theory informs the pedagogy announced in the syllabus; and a critical reflection section that assesses how the curriculum worked in the classroom: what worked and did not work when the author combined theory and practice. What distinguishes this thesis from the Composition Studies Course Design and from other theses is the amount of attention paid to praxis. In addition to an expanded syllabus, this curriculum also includes two appendices containing examples of lesson plans, activities, and assignments, as well as examples of students' writing and the author's own writing.
    • The Modern Vampire as Romantic Hero: Acceptance, Love and Self-Control

      Fenicchia, Lindsey M.; The College at Brockport (2012-06-15)
      The vampire has existed since the beginning of civilization as a metaphor for societal issues and beliefs concerning life and death. Throughout the centuries, the vampire has evolved to suit societal trends, transforming from the bloodthirsty monster of early mythology to an alluring and complex creature of modern times. The thesis explores the popularity of the vampire in twenty-first century literature and film by evaluating two of the most popular vampire series of the time, L.J Smith's Vampire Diaries series ( 1991 , 2009) and Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (2005 - 2008); these texts characterize the vampire as a romantic superhero whose driven to protect those he loves. The modern vampire has rejoined society by becoming more human than ever in his ability to give and receive love. Smith and Meyer challenge traditional vampire mythology even further by making once helpless female victims into strong, driven heroines. The romance between vampire and mortal proves profound and redeems the protagonist into a champion of Christian virtue, embodying complete selflessness and self-control in their relationships. The modern vampire is an evolved form of the aristocratic vampire who is at once superhero, ideal lover and Christ-like, rather than monster.
    • The Morale of Consciousness Wails

      Stigall, John; The College at Brockport (1980-01-01)
      This creative thesis, by renown African American poet, John Stigall addresses issues of race in America through poetry.
    • The Myth of Autism

      Crofts, Daniel J.; The College at Brockport (2009-01-30)
      This thesis is a study of autism in and intimations thereof in various narrative works of different types and from different time periods. My interpretation of autism, upon which my literary analysis is based, is in accordance with the insights of a field of psychological theory known as metabletics, which studies various conditions (autism, for example) in light of the wider social, cultural, and historical contexts to which they belong. I interpret autism as an expression of a comprehensive cultural condition that affects Modern society (especially in the Western world) as a whole and finds its historical roots in the advent of linear perspective vision, which occurred in the 15th century. As I examine intimations and/or expressions of autism in the various narrative works I explore, I elaborate upon the ways in which autistic symptoms (as well as the narratives in question) are connected to the traits of linear-perspective-based consciousness. My goal is to inspire a more robust and sensitive understanding of and approach to autism than the traditional medical/diagnostic approach. After supplying the necessary background information about linear perspective vision and its effects upon Modern, Western society as a whole and then briefly attending to the implications of what some have interpreted as intimations of autism in pre-Modern narratives, I explore the autistic impulses within popular narrative works from different stages of Modern history, beginning with Shakespeare's Hamlet and concluding with David Fincher's 1999 film, Fight Club. In so doing, I trace the development of the autism phenomenon from within the concurrent (and enveloping) development of the condition of Modern man. After this, I devote a chapter to the portrayal of autism in contemporary children's fiction, which I argue to be our key to understanding and approaching the autism phenomenon in a manner that is beneficial to autistic children and to society as a whole.
    • The Next Great Adventure: A Child's Literary Journey through Death and Grief

      Grifa, Joelle M.; The College at Brockport (2008-04-24)
      Literature is often a direct glimpse into another world, conveying messages from characters to help readers shape and define their own futures. Parents and guardians of children are often left searching for a way to use literature to explain the more difficult parts of life to child readers. Grief literature offers models of different grieving processes. Critic Mary Rycik was the first to coin the term "bibliotherapy" when she discussed the healing role that children's literature played for the traumatized child or young adult. When faced with loss and sorrow, characters will either heal and move on, or succumb to the grief they feel when a loved one dies. The novels in the following thesis: Hans Wilhelm's I 'll Always Love You ( 1990), Robert Munsch's Love You Forever ( 1999), Dwight Daniels' Grieving at Christmastime (2005), Ralph L. Klicker's Kolie and the Funeral (2002); S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders ( 1997), Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty ( 1993) Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War ( 1974), and William Golding's Lord of the Flies ( 1954) all showcase characters making both healthy and unhealthy choices regarding grief. Progression plays a pivotal role, for as novels advance in intricacy, readers are presumably advancing in age. Young characters evolve from a reliance on their parents, to friends, and then ultimately decide alone how they want grief to affect them. Grief literature attempts to ready readers of all ages for death and the emotions associated with it. Grief literature offers answers during the tragic times when answers seem scarce. Ultimately death will not be something to be afraid of, but is seen as the great adventure touted by Peter Pan in J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy (1911) and Professor Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling's novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer 's Stone (1997). This is the very goal of grief literature; to turn sorrow into a story, and to turn that story' into life.
    • The Philosophy of Time in Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves

      Willis, Erica B.; The College at Brockport (2006-06-01)
      This research project considers various philosophies of time as they are represented in the writing of Virginia Woolf. The project frames the discussion with the idea that Woolf’s work embodies these pre-existing theories in revolutionary ways. The three specific texts examined for this research are Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves as they respond to the philosophical and scientific temporal theories of Henri Bergson, Albert Einstein, and Friedrich Nietzsche. The study highlights the examination of time as a process that has obsessed centuries of writers, intellectuals, and scholars. It also demonstrates Woolf’s belief that the concept of time is a human construction. The project argues that the key to understanding Woolf’s thoughts on literature, society, religion, or philosophy is not by exploring her personal writing, but by considering her fictional characters as stand-ins for her own experimentation with different theories of time and reality.
    • The Railroad in American Poetry

      Bodenstedt, James C.; The College at Brockport (1992-01-01)
      In many ways travel by train is a speeded-up version of what we are all doing – a here and now experience of what it's like to be human. Trains tend to make us reflective and introspective. For over 150 years poets have used railroad imagery in an attempt to enter into the universal experience of trains. This thesis will examine the remarkably strong hold the railroad image has had on the consciousness of poets, ranging from the Transcendentalists to contemporary American poets. For many of the nineteenth-century poets, the image of the railroad expresses the promise and the danger of technology in modern industrial society, while the contemporary poets do not generally write poems “about” the railroad, but use train imagery to journey through the psychic landscape of the country and one's own mind and being. Today's train poems reveal why they must take a journey through the landscape of the self in order to be fully awake in the world. There are hundreds of railroad poems out there that reveal poets' psychic journeys. Almost every major and minor American poet since Emerson has either written a train poem or has used railroad imagery in their poems. Trains continue to fascinate our poets' imaginations despite the railroad's demise, because they still represent profound metaphors in American consciousness- symbols of speed and power personifying industrial society itself; yet at the same time trains remain a symbol of time's passage upon our' scarred, native soil. In examining railroad verse, we will look at how the consciousness of the poet explores what trains are, because like any good poem, railroad poems also probe into the language depths of the unconscious mind, which is the repository of primal, sensory images, and reach forth toward a harmony or wholeness with the rational, ordering, conscious mind. The first four chapters of the thesis invite us to travel along the nineteenth-century railroad of Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, and Whitman. On their trains we find that the image of the railroad is incorporated harmoniously into the landscape. Succeeding chapters examine the poetry of the twentieth-century. I separated the chapters into the following themes to represent the diversity of the railroad in American poetry: "Come Serve the Muse,Again;” "Arrivals and Departures at the Station;" "Sketches of American People and American Landscapes;" "Troop Trains and Holocaust Trains;” and "Journeying Through the Landscape of Consciousness." In these chapters the image of the train will take us on an inward journey of personal and spiritual freedom.
    • The Threats of the Present: Reading William Faulkner's Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! As Representations of American Issues in the 1920s and 1930s

      Bachman, Lindsay Alaine; The College at Brockport (2007-12-01)
      As one of the most well-known modern American authors, William Faulkner is no stranger to the world of critical interpretation. His works are often discussed and analyzed in academic circles, and these analyses have taken on, over time, a quite traditional interpretation. With Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!, interpretation has traditionally focused on themes of history and race. There is no doubt that Faulkner had a rather distinct preoccupation with these two themes; his works are full of references to the issues of the past and of race in relation to the Civil War and ''the Old South." It is not surprising, either, that it has been the standard that critical interpretations, from early critics like Cleanth Brooks and Olga Vickery to more contemporary critics like Lisa Nelson and Thomas Argiro, have focused on racial tensions and the representation of the past in Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! What is often overlooked in critical interpretations of these novels is the influence of the present on Faulkner's works as well. When read in the context of the time period when Faulkner was writing and publishing, the critical interpretations of Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! focus on themes different from the more traditional interpretations. This new approach, using a more "historical present" critical lens for interpretation, shows how the issues plaguing the United States in the 1920s and 1930s-the threat of the "other," in the forms of immigration and differing socio-political affiliations-are reflected in these two Faulkner novels.
    • The Unheard Voices of Irish Women in the Novels of Edna O'Brien

      Reader, Kirsten Allen; The College at Brockport (2001-01-01)
      This thesis project focuses on the work of Edna O’Brien, an Irish author, as a pioneer in literature who uniquely represents the feminine perspective and voice, even while her books were banned and burned. The discussion notes O’Brien’s work as it addresses woman’s perceived place in Irish history as “muted” and powerless. In a close examination of her writing, The Country Girls Trilogy and House of Splendid Isolation specifically, are noted themes of isolation, the constraints of Catholicism, loneliness, and loss, as enduring realities for women in Ireland.
    • The Works of Mary Jane Holmes: A Brockport Union Catalog

      Carson, Grace T.; The College at Brockport (1988-01-01)
      This thesis contains some brief biographical material, but is much more focused on an extensive bibliography of Mary Jane Holmes' work. The author examined several collections of her novels in great detail, noting various editions, bindings, publishers and so forth. Some literary criticism and assessment of Holmes' work is also included.
    • Thomas Hardy: The Ache of Modernism

      Roberts, Kelly Tucker; The College at Brockport (2001-01-01)
      Thomas Hardy wrote during a time of great social, moral, and technological change. Often his novels reflect these changes, and the people struggling to cope with them. This master thesis looks at three of Hardy’s novels including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d’Ubervilles, and Jude the Obscure, and evaluates the struggle the characters make to adapt socially and morally. The Mayor of Casterbridge shows how machines altered the way agriculture was done and a man’s struggle to manage a successful farm without the proper knowledge of the new technology. While he fails, a younger man much more knowledgeable in business and machinery becomes successful. In Tess of the d’Ubervilles the characters are presented with the challenge to evolve away from a traditional religious morality, and into a more intuitive and natural one. Unable to evolve, the story ends in tragedy. Jude the Obscure shows the struggle with Christianity and naturalism, as well as the change of roles women held in society. In this story, the characters try to cope with the Christian sanctity in marriage, and their own wills to marry for love.
    • Toska: Stories

      Conaughty, Ryan; The College at Brockport (2012-05-09)
      This creative thesis of short stories focuses upon the theme of people searching for something they cannot find. Each story centers around characters who cannot obtain the thing they long for, be it a voice, an answer to a question, or some sort of redemptive relationship. As a collection, the intent of this thesis is to present particular stories of characters who are on the verge of coming to a realization about themselves but who are unable to become who they want to be. In the story "Rocks", a child who isn't speaking is sent to summer camp so that he may make friends but learns more than he is supposed to. "Waiting" is about a man who cannot find the words he must say to make his relationship with his girlfriend work, so escapes to a bar and meets a man with a story to tell. "I'm Not Hurting Anyone" is the story of a man who has made a terrible mistake he cannot move on from, even when the demon he keeps at bay tries to help him recover. Lastly, in "The Swimmer", a young artist in search of an answer to where he is going in life finds his hero in the unlikeliest of places with unwanted results. The author seeks to present these stories to showcase various tales of loss, despair, anger, acceptance, and ultimately, the collapse of each character's ability to acknowledge who they were and the failure to accept who they have become. The characters of Toska are unable to find themselves when they look for who they are. These individuals remain as silent and lost at the end of their stories as we often find ourselves.
    • Truth in Fiction

      Baker, Timothy R.; The College at Brockport (2011-04-16)
      According to literary tradition and genre classification, fiction has often been regarded as writing that lacks a foundation of truth. However, this does not necessarily mean that fiction contains no elements of truth. In this thesis, Timothy Baker argues that fiction contains traces of truth - truths that may not be fundamentally based on facts, yet can still be recognized as embodying the deep-seated essence of truth. These “essential truths”, though largely shunned from the nonfiction genre, can be utilized to establish the groundwork of fiction - making the genre a reflection of reality itself - instead of a captured moment of reality. Fiction that contains essential truths, though not based on actual events, can still be recognized as realistic and existentially valuable. This thesis includes three short works of creative writing by Timothy Baker: “Letters from Llea" a creative essay, "Perfection," a short story, and "Desperate Desires," also a short story all of which, he argues in the introduction, contain essential truths.
    • Tying Shoes: A Collection of Essays

      Scavo, Laura; The College at Brockport (2004-12-14)
      This collection of seven personal essays centers on certain commonalities of human experience as discovered in the life experience of the author. Issues of discussion include the acceptance and/or alienation of self, the way issues of gender are transferred to succeeding generations, the divide between spirituality and physicality or faith and reason, the transformation of the stages of grief, as well as the dichotomy of living in a world filled with beauty and horror, pleasure and pain. Also discussed are issues dependent on human institutions or frameworks such as self in relation to community, family, friendship, as well as marriage, and parenting. In each of the texts, it is the author's intent to demonstrate that hope or faith can be evident through subtle paradigm shifts and simple actions rather than miraculous epiphanies or heroic deeds.
    • Ursus Americanus

      Brown, Lindsey Birdsall; The College at Brockport (2010-04-04)
      This essay collection examines my experience as the single mother of a biracial child and uses it as impetus for posing larger questions about race and class in America. The piece "Good Hair" outlines my first attempt at explaining my son's racial origins to him, "Peacocks" examines my choice to become a single mother by juxtaposing it with our culture's mythology about spinsters and brides, and "Ursus Americanus" uses the initiating incident of a bear roosting in a city tree to examine the causes and consequences of human cultural and class migrations in Rochester, NY. Although grounded in the personal, these essays use techniques of accumulation, juxtaposition and non-linear chronology to reveal the fundamental misunderstandings that lead to White America's problematic constructions of Black and Brown.