Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Writing
The two short stories presented herein feature wildly different narratives operating under a common thematic umbrella; absent fathers.
While not always the central focus of the narrative, or the principle motivation of the protagonists, the fathers' absence in both stories casts a long shadow that defines their sense of happiness. Characters in both_ stories suffer from a feeling of incompleteness that is rooted in the longing for the absent father.
1n both cases the father's absence is beyond the protagonist's control and as such they must react to the affect it has on their lives and the situations that it, at least in part, places them in.
Beyond that the stories could hardly be more disparate. One is a period piece with scenes of violence, the other a contemporary journey of self-discovery. The main characters in each are of different ages, different sexes, different centuries and different socio-economic environments. But in contrast to the many differences between the two stories, in some pseudo-Freudian way, I believe that common theme they share is so fundamental to the make-up of the characters, and to each of us, for the nature of our parental relations can largely define us, that their similarity is much greater.
Brainsby, Benjamin, "Parental Absence" (2010). Theses. 395.
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