Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Mary Carroll-Hackett, M.F.A

Second Advisor

Robert "Brett" Hursey, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Craig A. Challender, Ph.D


The purpose is to conduct an examination of what it means to survive, specifically in terms of overcoming the expectation to fail. The focus of each narrative is to be a struggle for survival by means of reconciling public opinion, assumed or real, with an individual’s perception of what it means to fail. The reconciliation emerges from understanding of identity, ideas about failure, and relationships between characters. In each story, moments exist where the character chooses between accepting other’s expectations or becoming something different. The characters struggled to survive emotionally and physically in a world with skewed value systems and unspoken social norms, however, they survived.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.