Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA

Committee Chair

Stansel, Ian

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hadley, Karen

Committee Member

Hadley, Karen

Committee Member

Gibson, John

Author's Keywords

creative writing; fiction; novella; southern gothic; flannery conner; english


This creative thesis encompasses two features: 1) a critical component that contextualizes and supports the second component, 2) a short Southern Gothic novella. Critical analyses of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction and discourse about the genre illustrate where inspiration was drawn, and how the project’s creative component contributes to this genre. The project explores anxieties of displacement, isolation, and a stuck-in-the-past-temporality, as shown through the vessel of characters’ houses. The novella is decentralized in form and point-of-view—fragmentary excerpts of technological communications are utilized to illustrate how the protagonist’s problems are literally always on hand. The project argues that because the south remains a liminal space, it chooses to be haunted by the past, as past traumas are tied to homes and bodies—the past remains inescapable and harmful unless one forgives trespasses, thus becoming unstuck in the past, able to move forward, and carve out a less toxic future.

Included in

Fiction Commons