Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Writing

First Advisor

Beth Mead


The stories in this collection focus on the little, almost insignificant symbols that appear in our daily lives. People, in general, don't notice how certain objects gravitate toward us. The symbols in my life and in my writing appear in places and forms unexpected: a bird outside of a windowsill, flowers that grow by themselves in our backyards, a scarf purchased at a discount store, domino tiles in a common game. How easy it is to take pieces of our lives for granted. They can, for many, hold an almost transcendental power. They provide landmarks for the steps we choose to take and the parts of our paths which we cannot control.

As humans in a free society, we can choose who we marry. But we do not always decide how marriages change, bow they tum out. We cannot decide who our parents and siblings are, nor can we control how much effect these people will have on our identities. The stories in my thesis, along with simple forms of symbolism, center around the people who make up who we are as an individual. The characters are shaped by the people in their lives.

We all have choices, objects, people, and unpredictable circumstances that remain in our past and shape our future. These stories center around characters and families who search for an understanding, who are trying to make sense of it all, who are trying to reconcile with what they can and cannot control.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License