• Cannibalistic Imprisonment: Incorporating Hunger, Food, Identity, and Language in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Mary Gordon’s Final Payments, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved

      Wheeler, Holly A.; The College at Brockport (1998-01-01)
      This thesis critically examines the intersection of contemporary feminist theory and the work of three authors, Samuel Richardson, Mary Gordon, and Toni Morrison, representing classic and contemporary literature. In pursuing extended comparative readings of Richardson’s Clarissa, Gordon’s Final Payments, and Morrison’s Beloved as case studies, this project observes the various ways in which cultural and material circumstances organize relationships among writing, women's bodies, food, and identity. One facet of the argument concerns the concept of the “abject,” understood to be a “process which begins at the moment of self-realization in the pre-oedipal dyad.” This is applied to all three narratives as a means to further discuss identity with regard to each protagonist. The project juxtaposes the physical instances and metaphors of imprisonment which cause a breakdown of the heroines' language and identity, which, in turn, results in both literal and metaphorical cannibalism. Explanatory material on eating and relationship formation, as foundational to identity, is offered prior to the literary discussion that follows.
    • Casting Withers and Other Stories

      Middendorf, Lisa Marie; The College at Brockport (2006-04-18)
      This collection of four personal essays centers on the author's childhood on a dairy farm Issues of discussion include family dynamics that emerge as a result of a move from a stable, middle-class, manicured lawn environment to an unstable, dilapidated, environment. Also discussed are issues of environment and man's relationship with his environment, including but not exclusive to: environment as property, environment as commodity, environment as social obligation, environment as history/ past, environment as teacher. As a collection, it is the author's intent to piece together the entire picture of both time and landscape. The author intends to formulate this entire picture through the use of each individual text as a piece of the setting, in reference to both time and landscape, without an obvious amount of overlap between the texts. Through this focus on creating a complete narrative through separately indulged pieces of time and landscape, the author aims to emphasize the important of environment's role as a character in the personal narrative.
    • Censoring the Student: A Bibliography

      Travers, Jill D.; The College at Brockport (2001-04-20)
      This thesis project includes a comprehensive bibliography that is centered on the topic of censorship as it applies to literature within the school and library setting. It also highlights the rights of students to read, write, and experience potentially controversial topics within the classroom and library. The Introduction examines the reasoning for the ongoing concern with censorship and cites several landmark legal cases and their outcomes. It briefly discusses the intersection of censorship, student rights, and the First Amendment. The successive chapters incorporate the bibliography itself and are organized by specific topics which include: the censorship debate, author and book censorship, court mandated censorship, school board censorship, students First Amendment rights, effects of censorship on librarians and school professionals, parents and students as instigators and/or victims, censorship effects on students.
    • Changing our Minds : Dystopian Psychological Conditioning in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, and Walden Two

      Tuzzeo, Jennifer M.; The College at Brockport (2008-06-09)
      While George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World are typically labeled dystopian literature, B.F. Skinner's Walden Two has more of a utopian reputation. Walden Two as well as much of Brave New World are conceptually utopian, that is, the primary goal is the happiness of the people. But dystopian societies are created when the state dictates without opposition the values and morals of the society. In this regard, even the most seemingly utopian societies are not truly utopias but rather dystopias. These particular novels focus on the psychological conditioning of the mind and in effect the changing nature of man. All of the other approaches used in the novels (e.g. disintegration of family, technology, control of the body, fear of outsiders) are accessories to the state's ultimate goal of altering human nature to suit the society as a whole. In these texts, there are no "heroes" in the traditional sense to rally behind because eventually each is defeated by the state's power. Because these authors do not give us the happy ending we expect, we are instead left with revelations of our present world and their warnings of our future.
    • Charles Dickens' Trope of Great Gulfs: Irony in Bleak House

      Pierce, Elizabeth A.; The College at Brockport (2009-09-01)
      In Bleak House, Charles Dickens artistically and ironically manipulates language to expose burgeoning socio-political gaps in Victorian times, most notably those that involve people who have access to money, power, food and salvation, and people who do not. Dickens refers to the unlikelihood of two societies from opposite sides of Great Gulfs being brought together and he assists in drawing attention to those gulfs with the language in his novel. Framed within the social mores of his era, Dickens uses the language of phrenology and craniology to satirize the "science" that the English were using to justify their expansionism into "lesser'' intellectually and morally developed parts of the world, most notably Africa. He also uses the trope of cannibalism in terms of consumption in several different ways to illustrate the Great Gulfs between England and Others outside of England, between social classes, between genders, and between the haves and haves not within England. Dickens implies physical and moral consumption through some of his least likeable characters in Bleak House to reflect his Carlylean-influenced ideologies between people who support economic systems and people who attach themselves to the economic base without supporting it. Dickens also parrots many of Carlyle's ideas when he uses the language of servitude and slavery to differentiate the Great Gulfs between a strong work ethic and one that is weak. It is Dickens' language in Bleak House that exposes his disdain for England's expansionism and demonstrates his strong isolationist views that fuels Victorians' bias against England's philanthropic efforts toward others. As a result, Dickens' writing in Bleak House holds some of the most stinging criticism on England's expansionism during his time.
    • Charlotte Bronte: The Evolution of Her Heroes

      Murphy, Shawna C.; The College at Brockport (2003-05-01)
      Charlotte Bronte, through her novels The Professor (published posthumously in 1857), Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853), attempted to resolve the issues she faced as a plain, unmarried, independent-thinking woman in the nineteenth century. As each story is told the author takes another step toward defining her ideal of love and coming to terms with what she was not given by her father Patrick, brother Branwell, and first love M. Heger. William Crimsworth, Edward Rochester and M. Paul Emmanuel have much in common with the men in Bronte's life, yet these similarities end when they overcome their selfishness, egotism, and weakness to win the women they love. The heroes transform for love and in the process grow to be better men that deserve the heroines' love and devotion as well as becoming the ideal man Bronte longed for.
    • Complacency and Conformity: How the Elimination of Individual Choice Creates Perfect Dystopian Societies

      Rohan, Lauren L.; The College at Brockport (2012-05-10)
      Contemporary young adult novels that focus on dystopian societies often depict places where individual choice has been eradicated. In some cases the masses have chosen apathy over activism and allow those in power to make choices for them. In other cases, those in authority force the populace into obedience and compliance. These dystopian societies may look peaceful on the surface but mask the larger problem and the fact that regular people are unable to think for themselves. While more canonical texts have been widely examined and studied, the new wave of young adult dystopian literature not only updates the dystopian warnings of previous generation's but also make these issues relevant for a new generation of readers . The canonical texts Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury create two divergent paths for contemporary dystopian works. The works The Giver by Lois Lowry, and The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld follow in the tradition of Brave New World by depicting societies that lack autonomy by force and often peaceful and orderly, but the people are unable to think for themselves or even understand what essential freedoms they have lost. In contrast the works of Feed by M.T. Anderson and How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff follow in the steps of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury show worlds where people have chosen apathy over activism and in turn willingly up their autonomy to those in authority. They choose stagnant and ignorant lives in exchange for supposed contentment. However, while these societies may look superficially perfect the tradeoffs have been immense; including no knowledge of the past, lack of a nuclear family or romantic bonds, and even lack of introspective or reflective thoughts . The framework created by the canonical texts is continued throughout the contemporary novels in order to allow young people to think about how they may be affected if they allow themselves to fall into similar traps of apathy or complacency.
    • Copper and Stone

      Aichel, Shirley; The College at Brockport (1987-01-01)
      This thesis project is prefaced with a personal history that looks at experiences and relationships as an inspiration for creative writing. The remaining sections include original poetry that responds to family history, personal experience, and recurrent themes of war, loss, nature, and relationships. Selected literature and poetry prompts are noted from diverse styles and writers - Thoreau, Milosz, Williams, Jarrell - among others.
    • Deaf Theatre: Audience Appeal

      Linza, Pamela R.; The College at Brockport (1999-01-01)
      A majority of Deaf Americans agree that viewing a typical theatrical performance is a formidable task. In the second half of this century, attitudinal changes made by Americans have resulted in new and increased opportunities for their Deaf counterparts to participate in American theatre. American theatregoers who are Deaf can choose plays in general theatre as well as those in Deaf theatre. However, they experience problems in appreciating plays in Deaf theatre. More specifically, audience appeal is the main problem. Audience appeal ·refers to a concept in which major aspects of performances are designed to engage the thoughts and reactions of a group of spectators. Its definition is slightly expanded for playgoers who are Deaf; the aspects of performances are generally designed so that they play on human visual capacities. Essential characteristics of audience appeal for Deaf audiences consist of adding sign language principles and conventions from Deaf culture. Scholarly research in the recent years has shown that the Deaf audience members have preferences as to how they enjoy a theatrical experience. Some experts argue that the visual aspect of the performance is the most important consideration, while others contend that choice of language and culture contributes most significantly to appeal for Deaf audiences. Some argue that accessibility, not audience appeal, is the main problem. This may be misleading. Accessibility can simply refer to the way of getting in the theatre and provision of services. But it does not optimize Deaf audiences' theatrical experiences. In the light of textual, historical, and cultural research, the problem of audience appeal for Deaf people is investigated. To address the persistent problem of audience appeal, some experts recommend careful attention to cross-cultural issues. Other experts endorse innovative strategies that meet the needs of both Deaf and hearing audiences. Some contend that the above proposals will not help resolve the problem. They claim that development of productions unique to Deaf people is the only feasible solution. However, according to other experts, this solution is impractical in terms of costs and attendance. This thesis informs that audience appeal for the Deaf in theatre is problematic, evaluates the existing strategies that have been implemented, and offers a set of suggestions for an improved Deaf theatre for its audiences. This thesis includes information and recommendations for playwrights, directors, casts, audiences, and critics who are advocates of audience appeal for theatregoers who are Deaf.
    • Dictators, Fry Cooks, Film Students, Basketball Players, and Gang Bangers: How Shakespeare Looks on Film in the Late Twentieth Century and Beyond

      Bielinski, Charles R.; The College at Brockport (2007-04-11)
      Within the genre of the alternative Shakespearean universe, there exist two sub-genres. The two sub-genres are the Shakespeare language, contemporary era film and the contemporary language, contemporary era. Though films in these genres have existed since the dawn of filmmaking, they recently been marketed to more mainstream audiences. This thesis incorporates five ofthe more recent examples of these particular genres of Shakespearean film: William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Hamlet, Richard III, 0, and Scotland, Pa. Each film is a unique take on the original Shakespearean work that it represents. The filmmakers include many of their own original ideas along with a re-imagining of the ideas taken directly from Shakespeare. In many cases the filmmakers have decided to tailor events and character motivations to fit the film that they have chosen to create. The choices, and their degree of success, must be analyzed in order to provide a complete analysis of the films. Many scholars and critics have viewed these films harshly upon their release and·again when subjected to critical study. This is not entirely fair, as the films cannot be judged based on their faithfulness to the original work alone. The audience has changed since the time in which Shakespeare lived and, as a result, some of the stories need to be changed as well.
    • Downwinders and Edge/Bound poems

      Doran, Brenna; The College at Brockport (2008-04-28)
      I am attempting several different things in this collection of poems. First, for some of the poems, I have used photos as visual prompts. These poems employ emphasis; using poetry to comment on photographs I took with my Motorola Razor cell phone to capture sights of Kodak Park. Additionally, I have included "edge/bound" poems, which refers to a poetic form I invented in August 2006. The form of these poems is dictated by a strict constraint: the last letter of the first word, and each subsequent word, must be the same as the first letter of the next word. The collection of poems explores the idea of the downwinder, a word often used to describe an individual affected by radioactive or nuclear fallout. However, I have extended the definition to include other types of environmental hazards and have considered, in the poems, how downwinders often deal with issues of class. In creating a body of poetry, I have also had to consider my own bodily boundaries; living in a little room with low ceilings, being home-bound at night with a child as a single mother. In order to deal with such physical constraints, I have had to "move" through poetry. The poetry becomes a form of disclosure: it works within the constraints with which the body is faced and explodes restraint, even as the body is restrained.
    • “Either I’m Nobody, or I’m a Nation”: Anand, Rushdie, Adiga and the National Quest for Independence

      Billotti, Michael; The College at Brockport (2011-12-19)
      Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable (1935), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008) are each framed within national terms. Each novelist portrays the nation within narrative, using allegorical devices. Anand, writing during the buildup to Indian independence, Rushdie, reacting to the aftermath of a suspension of democracy in the country, and Adiga, in the economically divisive modern state, each create imagined landscapes that compete with the dominating force of the nation. These novels, from distinct periods in India’s history, each demonstrate an awareness of and a desire to engage with the problem of nation. Each author grapples with the nation’s impact on the individual through the employment of national allegory. This thesis will address how each character is placed outside the experience of his nation because of the terms by which the nation is defined. As a result, each character is unable to live in the way that he desires and creates a new world in his narrative. This narrative world rivals the nation, allowing each character a measure of freedom and agency that has been otherwise denied.
    • Emily Dickinson: The Concept of Catharsis

      Wolfley, Jennifer; The College at Brockport (1995-01-01)
      Emily Dickinson remains recognized as one of greatest poets of the American literature canon. The majority of her work, while often considered dark and abstract, was unread by anyone else in her lifetime. Why then would she choose to create such a large volume of troubled writing in secret? This thesis project explores this question using a psychological lens, and examines the work for any possible therapeutic effects it may have had on Dickinson. The project further suggests that Dickinson suffered from clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and extreme personality disorders. (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) II is used throughout to support these claims.) This thesis explores four common themes found within Dickinson’s poetry including death, child imagery, powerlessness, and anger. These themes are related to events in the poet’s life that may have sparked such feelings. Several poems are given as examples for each theme, and through a close reading, are thoroughly analyzed to gain a clearer insight into any possible intention. The project concludes that Dickinson wrote as a form of therapy in an attempt to heal emotionally as well as maintain her sanity.
    • Enacting Freedom: How Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson completed the American Revolution

      Stimson, Ryan K.; The College at Brockport (2011-05-26)
      Slavery thrust America into a moral and legal dilemma. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence offered contradicting readings with regards to natural law and actual law. Slavery became representative of the gulf of interpretation between these two documents. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Lysander Spooner were moral refomers that attacked slavery by supporting the message of equality found within the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Dew and Rufus Choate were proslavery theorists who regularly used history as a means to legitimize slavery. William Henry Seward called for the support of a "Higher Law" than the Constitution that owes more to the verbiage within the Declaration of Independence than anything else. Daniel Webster offered a compromise over morality in an effort to stop the impending civil war, believing more in a whole union, though fractured and divisive, rather than an actual secession. Abraham Lincoln represents a conflicted politician who idolized the founding fathers and their political and moral ambition, yet felt obligated to uphold the law of the land. These figures and their respective beliefs came to a head in the period between 1830-1860. Though the war was inevitable, what was not clear was how to address the slavery issue. The tension between the Constitution and Declaration of Independence sparked a furious debate over slavery, morality, law, and America itself. Lincoln recognized this and, with the assistance of reformers Emerson and Spooner, and senator Seward, understood he had to fuse the moral sentiment in the Declaration of Independence with the lawful enforcement of the Constitution, thus making morality law.
    • Exploring Utopia: The Utopias of Blithedale Romance and Feed

      Palmeroni, Dominic M.; The College at Brockport (2011-01-20)
      Since the earliest recorded settlements, there has been the desire to build a functioning world where everyone is happy and there is eternal peace and harmony. By the nineteenth century, many people had tried to create the perfect society and all failed in their attempts. As with many modes of life utopia and its' darker sibling dystopia were woven into the fabric of literature. Here the duality could thrive with examples of successful utopias but at the same time there are stories that about utopias that fail, one being The Blithedale Romance written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The latter becomes a focal point of the paper in its view of utopia and the inability for one to exist, either because of the people who construct it, or perhaps even the idea itself. The failure of the fictitious Blithedale and its real-world counterparts lead into a possible future given life by M.T. Anderson in his futuristic dystopia of Feed. Feed describes a world where people are physically connected to the internet through an implanted computer. Even though the people living in this world see it as a perfect utopia, the elements of dystopia are only thinly veiled. The conclusion comes to this in regards to utopia and its viability, the fact that all utopian experiments have failed cannot be solely blamed on the idea of utopia. The reason for of the failures are the people themselves. The failure of utopia is that the people who live in the ''utopia" are not first utopians themselves, rather they expect the constructed utopian space to make them utopians afterwards. In this way The Blithedale Romance and Feed work in concert to show the faulty logic in how utopia has been viewed in the past and to give hope for the resurrection of the belief that utopia can exist.
    • Fairy Tales And The Heroic Cycle In The Modern World: Modern Authors Empowering The Female Heroine

      Lamberton, Susan E.; The College at Brockport (2009-12-14)
      Modern retellings of fairy tales, and new stories in the heroic tradition, serve a dual purpose in late twentieth century and twenty-first century American culture: they entertain readers with fantastic tales of heroic feats and mystical occurrences, and they promote cultural or political messages, such as gender coding, to an audience in an attractive and compelling way. These retellings highlight and comment upon social, political, gender and other issues in modern culture. Francesca Lia Block and Anne Sexton both have retold fairy tales in new forms and settings to question the roles of women in modern society. In its updated version, Block's Cinderella story offers women the option to repair the relationships with their sisters, valuing familial love alongside the security and love the prince offers. These authors are challenging the accepted gendered norms of behavior and asking readers to consider their own positions within the gender hierarchy in place within society. An example of this is J .K. Row ling, who puts a new spin on Joseph Campbell's heroic cycle in her Harry Potter series of books. Rowling is revising this familiar pattern by moving to a more corporate model of heroism focusing on a team rather than a single hero narrative. The team is of mixed-gender, where the combination of stereotypically male and female traits is what makes the team effective. Row ling highlights previously undervalued traits typically coded as feminine by showing the strengths of the female characters in her novels as different from the strengths of the males, but equal. The coming of age of the three main characters Harry, Ron, and Hermione becomes a main theme in the novels.
    • Field Research: Poems

      O'Brien, Thomas; The College at Brockport (2000-01-01)
      This thesis project discusses creative writing in poetry. The opening essay, through close readings of several poets, examines the idea of modernist conventions in poetry and the art as a “translation” of life. The discussion includes: T. S. Eliot with regard to the accessibility of poetry, William Stafford’s use of language, Sylvia Plath’s imagery, and Billy Collins authentic speaker or narrator. The remainder of the project is original poetry that covers diverse themes from nature to love and longing, from family to observational insight on the world.
    • Fisticuffs

      Burns, Don; The College at Brockport (2002-04-22)
      This thesis project examines the essay in both fiction and non-fiction. The introductory chapter considers the literary structure as a vehicle to reveal actual events, creating a dialogue, a trust between the essayist and the reader. The nonfiction essayist, then, is charged to write about the actual events not those that have been invented even as the fictional essayist is released to conjure and create a new world, an imagined space. Both fiction and nonfiction writers use dialogue and action to describe characters and events. The nonfiction writer must search for the tone that was present at the time of the actual event while the fiction writer has the ability to create the words and shape the mood. The remaining chapters are original essays, both fiction and nonfiction, that are centered on the theme of conflict and the juxtaposition of the physical and spiritual encountered within.
    • Found & Otherwise

      Wiggins, Thomas J.; The College at Brockport (2014-05-06)
      The fifteen poems in the first section of this collection are found poems inspired by various visual media, paintings, and sculptures. They were created from paint color names taken from swatch cards that were matched against each piece of inspiration. These poems are almost purely descriptive and in many instances the words within the poem give no hint as to their found source or the visual media, painting, or sculpture that inspired it. The critical introduction details the author's methodology for the construction of these found poems. It compares the author's understanding of the definition of Found Poetry against the established definition of the term presented in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. The introduction also examines the lyrical nature of the paint swatch poetry and its lack of narrative. The poems range from a single stanza to two pages in length. Sections two and three respectively include a short work of prose and three additional poems that are more traditional in their presentation.
    • From Mufflers to the Mu?tter: Essays on Everyday Spectacle

      Smith, Pauline S.; The College at Brockport (2012-01-25)
      This collection of essays interweaves the author's personal experience and family history to explore the spectacle of poverty, classism and difference. In "Mufflering," the processing of scrap metals for money becomes a lens for examining the relationship between the narrator, her stepfather and the "lower class" labors that bind them together and keep them separated. "Grandpa's Porch" analyzes the concurrent feelings of alienation and familial bond that the narrator feels with her grandfather. "Beauty Queen Killer" studies the spectacle of intense feeling and unhealthy obsession that develops when the narrator, relegated to the lower classes of her middle school social hierarchy, attempts to locate a serial killer that briefly passes through her hometown. The spectacle of physical difference and the socioeconomic implications of freakery as observed in the medical "oddities" preserved in a medical museum are the themes of the fourth essay in this collection. This essay, "Mutter," catalogues the exhibits at this museum in detail and explores the implications for the narrator of her fascination with these spectacle-based displays of difference. The final essay, "Everything to Fear'' focuses on the narrator's observations regarding her sister's food phobias.