Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Mary Carroll-Hackett

Second Advisor

Brett Hursey

Third Advisor

Christopher McGee


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the definition of power and control in relationships usually between men and women, but not always. The seven screenplays that make up my thesis all examine power that is uniquely feminine. In a power relationship, does the aggressor have all the power or, is he/she given power by the submissive party? The relationships between men and women, as in "Blood, Buzzed," are examined through a sub-cultural lens that explores sadomasochistic behavior. What line one has to cross in order to be a sadist and what personal sacrifices are made in order to be considered a masochist are questions that are also examined. These rules have been in play and accepted in literature for some time, thanks to the Marquis de Sade (Philosophy in the Bedroom), Pauline Reage (Story of O), and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Venus in Furs). My screenplays explore what Riane Eisler would call the "Pleasure/Pain Principle," as well as redemption through remale sexuality. ln "La Femme de la Nuit,'' the protagonist finds his saving grace through the unapologetic sexual prowess or a quirky prostitute. ln my title screenplay, a young woman discovers the lengths she will go in order to get what she wants, even if that means submitting to a man. Pedro Almodovar, Ingmar Bergman, and David Lynch's screenplays have provided inspiration and impetus behind my own writing and examination of subcultures that involve bizarre characters and (sometimes) surreal situations. Bret Easton Ellis was the impetus to write a fearless, modern work that relies on the painting of beautiful pictures. With my thesis, I hope to explore subject matter that hasn't always been acceptable to question or even talk about. I hope that this thesis will explore and question what it means to be female in a masculine world and what it means to have, want, or relinquish power and control.



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