Matching Items (34)

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Hysteria, Hegemony, and Horror: An Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Description

The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is

The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The introduction is an analysis of the various literary criticisms associated with the short story. The second part is research on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her journey with mental illness. The third part is research and background information on mental illness in the 19th century. The fourth part is research and analysis on the social, political, and economic context of the 19th century in the United States that affected the view of mental illness in the period, such as gender roles. The final part of the thesis is an analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." The analysis focuses on gender roles of the story and how these relate to the depiction of mental illness. This analysis takes into account the historical background and research when studying the context behind the story. In conclusion, the research and information in this thesis provides a new criticism for readers to consider when analyzing "The Yellow Wallpaper."

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  • 2018-05

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From Ink and Paper to the Internet Revolution: the History of the Book and its Impact on Society

Description

Books are constantly changing. For this project I looked at books and how they have changed over time. Starting with just before the Gutenberg Printing Press was invented and ending

Books are constantly changing. For this project I looked at books and how they have changed over time. Starting with just before the Gutenberg Printing Press was invented and ending with the introduction of the Internet this project tracked those changes over time and looked at how they changed how people read, who read, and what this said about the people at the time. First, I looked at how books changed physically. At the time of the Gutenberg Printing Press vellum and parchment were being used for the pages of books and illuminated manuscripts made some volumes works of art. Now with the Internet greatly influencing books, that format is radically different. Different materials allowed for books to be made more cheaply and when this happened more people were able to afford them. I also looked at aspects of books like publishing and where the books were sold and how that made a difference in how and why people read. Through all of my research I kept a blog and this allowed me to be almost part of the history and research I was doing. This blog will eventually become an eBook. Books have not only shaped history and people but have been shaped by history. Books are a vital part of helping to spread information and while they will keep changing especially with the Internet, books will never disappear.

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  • 2017-05

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Paraprosdokian: A Short Story Collection

Description

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at a 24-hour diner, a blind fair ride operator with a propensity for accidental murder, a hapless son of a clumsy dental assistant, a literary scholar stuck in an addiction to both Kafka and pornography, a kid who learns that writing is not a formula, and a high school death that nobody cares about. Some pieces unfold parts of 21st century culture that have been knotted in ambivalence, like how men raised on pornography reconcile with intimacy, while others are as simple as trying to encapsulate the experience of growing up in what is often perceived as an artless suburbia. The project aims at mixing prose with photography to create, as Ben Lerner describes it, “a constellation of language and image”—a complete artistic product. Using the work of a local Arizona photographer, the collection complicates a reader’s elementary notion of a “picture book” by forcing the reader to view photographs beyond exposition or symbolism. The title of the collection comes from a term used in comedic rhetoric that refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a statement or phrase reorients one’s understanding of the whole. Under this definition, the collection seeks to amend its author and reader’s orientation to Phoenix in a quest for empathy, giving pathetic characters a chance to speak without ever sacrificing a touch of humorous joy.

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  • 2018-05

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Me and the Suicides: A Novella

Description

In my experience as a reader, depictions of depression or suicidal ideation in fiction are most often conveyed through social realism or otherwise realistically grounded writing. This makes sense given

In my experience as a reader, depictions of depression or suicidal ideation in fiction are most often conveyed through social realism or otherwise realistically grounded writing. This makes sense given the subject matter, as one would intuitively think to depict mental or emotional trauma in a very sobering way, but I felt that one could merge the topic with a more absurdist, magical realist-inspired style while staying reverent to the emotional experience. I also find that stories that approach their subtext too seriously can stray very easily into plain didacticism, as opposed to a work that tries to entertain first. I concluded that conveying the experience of isolation and depression through metaphor would be the most emotionally rewarding or enlightening experience for the reader. The central premise of the story is, to me, a metaphor; a young man isolated from society, and haunted by past experiences, who comes to be literally haunted by ghosts with similar experiences. From that starting point I wanted to explore the perspectives of several of the ghosts in a multiple-protagonist format, structuring the present-day storyline around the flashbacks of three of the ghosts. I wanted each of the ghosts' backstories to present a kind of variation on the larger cultural "depression narrative", with some of them perhaps being more recognizable cultural symbols (such as Kryz in the role of the traumatized former soldier), but all being shown in specific, idiosyncratic ways. The content of each ghost's storyline came, again, from thinking of ways to metaphorically represent their particular emotional issues; Sarah, for example, literally has no shadow in a world of people with shadows, while Kryz's job on a film set full of artifice may mirror the artificiality that he sees in everyday interaction. These flashbacks making up the bulk of the narrative puts the ostensible lead character, Officer, in a backseat-narrator position a la Nick in The Great Gatsby, with the ghosts' experiences also working to inform his emotional status. I feel that the form of a work of fiction should reflect the nature of its content in some way, and given that my subject matter is mental illness, it made sense to me to arrange the various stories in a fragmented fashion, taking inspiration from authors like Thomas Pynchon and Irvine Welsh, as well as the non-fiction book A Brief Introduction to Madness. Finally, I wanted to convey a sense of absurdity in the events of the story, again taking influence from these authors. In my experience and observation, depression and mania are often responses to a world that makes little sense, from people unable to cope with the reality around them. I feel this goes hand-in-hand with an absurdist view of the world, and hopefully the unrealistic details of these stories, and the way character treat them as normal, should convey a sense of bafflement for the reader.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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From Madman to Patient: An Evolution in Depictions of Mental Illness in American Literature

Description

This thesis explores how the characterization of mentally ill characters evolves in literature within the United States in order to understand if and how modern notions of mental illness have

This thesis explores how the characterization of mentally ill characters evolves in literature within the United States in order to understand if and how modern notions of mental illness have impacted American writers’ fictional depictions of insanity. For this reason, this project compares and contrasts American fiction from the 19th century and 21st century. More specifically, the thesis explores the two centuries to trace evolutions in the use of gothic tropes, the progression of the theme of identity, relevant paratexts, and public conversations about fictional mental illness in modern texts—all of which send specific messages about mental health and impact the ways in which the reader understands the characters with mental illness. Ultimately, this thesis argues that the evolved use of tropes, the theme of identity, paratexts, and public conversations suggest there has been a shift from othering characters with mental illness towards accepting these characters and normalizing mental illness as an ordinary and familiar part of the human experience. In short, an increased understanding of mental health accompanies literary choices that create a more sympathetic representation of mental illness overall, even when fiction writers might still rely heavily on 19th-century tropes regarding madness.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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New Sonoran: A Graphic Novel

Description

In the event of a climate disaster, everything changes, but the places we’ve romanticized as a frontier will become new to us once again. New Sonoran is, in essence, an

In the event of a climate disaster, everything changes, but the places we’ve romanticized as a frontier will become new to us once again. New Sonoran is, in essence, an American story on a global problem. It draws on American pioneer/Old West/cowboy culture, the lasting effects of climate change denial, and the individualism that pervades American culture. I want to use this project to underscore the actual isolation of individualism, as well as create a new story that speaks to a problematic but evocative cultural history while accessing an uncertain future. For this project, I drew from a varied palette of media: comics, video games, and the pervasive cultural malaise that surrounds my current generation.
The work is based in anxieties, but its media influences are a strong indicator of tone and concept. At the very least, they helped me articulate why I wanted to work on a graphic novel on a post-climate change Sonoran. This desert that I’ve grown used to will change irrevocably, but it will be a new frontier to explore while the old will become a loss to mourn. This cycle of change is something I want to highlight in my work: we can worry, mourn, and fear, but there’s going to be something new.
New Sonoran is a graphic novel based upon the journey of Sage, a cartographer and anthropologist who travels the desert, annotating maps and studying a desert irrevocably affected by global climate change. As she catalogues the changes and losses in this new landscape, she learns how residents have adapted, and how people may still relate to the land.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

In Memory of an Emily

Description

In Memory of an Emily is a piece of creative nonfiction and a short film that together detail the author’s experience with mental illness in the collegiate environment. In its

In Memory of an Emily is a piece of creative nonfiction and a short film that together detail the author’s experience with mental illness in the collegiate environment. In its 45 pages, Jackman begins to detail the realities of living with depression, anxiety, and anorexia nervosa. The piece includes five sections of writing, including a preface and four portions describing freshman to senior year. Each section endeavors to explore simplistic and purposefully cliché events common in young adult/collegiate life and juxtapose the banal nature of these events with the experience of the mentally ill. Her story endeavors to explore the emotional truths of pain and suffering, revealing that beneath her tender façade lies a very different existence, one tangled in eating disorders, panic attacks, and overwhelming sadness. While maintaining a story-like quality traditional to creative non-fiction, Jackman ventures to warn with a cautionary tale of pathologizing abnormality and exploring the long lasting effects of childhood trauma. Weaving careful storytelling into an exploration of the mentally ill mind, Jackman keeps the reader both terrifyingly close and far away, whispering painful secrets and then desperately running away with the truth. She speaks frankly of all aspects of life, ranging from far more mundane events, such as break ups and college rejection letters, to complicated issues, such as the suicide of her grandfather and her admission into an eating disorder facility. The author attempts to establish a balanced rapport with the reader, recognizing the need to maintain distance and elicit emotion simultaneously. Jackman writes In Memory of an Emily as a heartbreaking but authentic tale, playing with stream of consciousness and paralyzing emotional description. She opens the door and invites the reader into her mind so as to share in the physical and emotional discomfort of the storyteller, but then promptly slams the door once inside.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly: Gendered Moral Teachings in American Murder Ballads

Description

Once planted firmly in America, murder ballads old and new sparked the Southern imagination, and familiar motifs and formulas were sung with a distinct American twist. The moral standards and

Once planted firmly in America, murder ballads old and new sparked the Southern imagination, and familiar motifs and formulas were sung with a distinct American twist. The moral standards and beliefs of Christianity, specifically those of Baptist and Methodist denominations, are weaved through a majority of Southern murder ballads, which reflects the impact of the Second Great Awakening, a religious revival founded in the South during the 1790s and early 1800s. Murder ballads found in the American South from 1800 to 1950 follow a structure that reinforces southern expectations for men and women, emphasizing moral and immoral traits in a way that encourages the listener to adhere to strict gender roles. The question of who the villain is and who the victim is must be confronted while examining American murder ballads, because the answer is not as clear cut as one would assume. Virginal women and sinful women, hapless men and cold-blooded men, each play a role in these ballads and the way in which they are perceived shifts the moral weight of the song. Heterosexuality and gender norms are heavily enforced in murder ballads from the South, and any deviations from these norms leads to murder, execution, or eternal damnation.

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  • 2020-05

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Transylvanian Transfusion: Anxieties of Medical Progress - Violations of Persons, Life, Death and Identity in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Description

This thesis focuses on Bram Stoker’s 1897 British novel 'Dracula' and its association of medical technology with a myriad of Victorian British societal anxieties, facilitating an examination of current and

This thesis focuses on Bram Stoker’s 1897 British novel 'Dracula' and its association of medical technology with a myriad of Victorian British societal anxieties, facilitating an examination of current and historical fears about medical intervention and medical innovation. Dracula’s parallel yet opposite portrayals of blood transfusion and vampirism allow fears of medical technology to be exaggerated and explored within the realm of the supernatural. In Dracula and today, the desire to restore the health of ourselves and our loved ones is accompanied by fears that medical treatment will cause harm; will reshape our conceptualization of death and thus our relationship with death; and, as new technologies with unestablished consequences are employed, that medical intervention may in fact erode our basic identity and humanity.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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On the Brink: Scenes of Precarity in late Victorian Literature

Description

Late Victorian fiction presents scenes of near-death experience that places characters within the literature in a state of precarity. The precarious existence manifests itself as a perpetual near-death experience that

Late Victorian fiction presents scenes of near-death experience that places characters within the literature in a state of precarity. The precarious existence manifests itself as a perpetual near-death experience that makes visible the necropolitical power dynamic and the “death-in-life” condition. Key moments in H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau and Bram Stoker’s Dracula provide evidence for the precarity under which people live in late Victorian literature. Both novels uniquely feature a process of becoming-object, Moreau’s humanization process and Dracula’s vampirization process, that places the victims in a state of precarity and death-in-life. Previous scholars have examined these processes as a means of establishing precarity and as a near-death experience, yet none have contextualized these scenes of precarity within Achille Mbembe’s theory of necropolitics. In an extended reading of both novels, this essay shows how Victorians function as administrators of necropolitics, victimizing non-Victorians to processes of becoming-object, and pushing these victim-objects to the brink of death, where they continue to live in a state of death-in-life. This essay focuses on these two novels because of their genre differences and their geographical differences, which further demonstrates the Victorian attentiveness towards scenes of precarity involving the marginalized and the “Oriental.” Despite scenes of precarity involving select Victorians, both novels inevitably reinforce the necropolitical Victorian hegemony. In the face of over a century of British colonialism, the threat of the colonized breaking the necropolitical hegemony of the Victorian empire is hyper-present in both late Victorian science fiction and gothic fiction, suggesting this anxiety of having precarity established over their own lives by the former oppressed was shared by the majority of the Victorian Empire.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05