Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Writing
This thesis is a collection of short stories inspired by many different women. While the pieces are truly works of fiction, the characters are an amalgam of individuals the author has encountered in her own life.
The collection focuses upon the experiences of several elderly women. each confronted with feelings of loneliness, envy, or longing. Although the stories address these sobering themes, they also present the reader with quirky. eccentric characters.
An important element in the collection is the examination of how the women interact with one another. One of the stories introduces a specific conflict between two characters, each vying for a much desired object, while another story finds a hostess trying desperately lo impress her peers. Both pieces reveal women with competitive spirits and a touch of hubris.
A theme found in several of the stories is death. One character finds herself still healing after the loss of a male, while another character gently cares for her charges and their loved ones as they make the difficult transition from life to death.
The pieces maintain a delicate balance between humor and reverence. To avoid creating characters in a stereotypical vein, the importance of emotional attachment is brought to the surface, leaving the physical aspects of aging less transparent. While some of the women do suffer from the conditions often found in the elderly, the real focus is to look beyond the physical and into the psyche of the individual. These characters are passionate and they are not afraid to express that passion.
Most importantly, the stories are meant to offer the reader a different view of elderly women. The willingness of the characters to change their circumstances. often at an emotional cost, is a reminder that individuals can continue to grow and evolve in all phases of life.
Fowle, Angela C., "Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: A Collection of Short Stories" (2008). Theses. 496.
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