Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gregory Howard

Second Committee Member

David Iress

Third Committee Member

Deborah Rogers


Father: Where Art Thou is a creative writing thesis that explores and amalgamates the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and psychological realism. The narrative focuses on the character of Rosanna, who, in a society dominated by blind religious belief, gradually comes to understand who she really is, and what her beliefs really are. She is accompanied by two other major characters who both represent different degrees of devotion: one a believer, and the other heretic. Through her interactions with them, she comes to understand the phenomenology of belief, its emergent and possessive nature, and is able, through a series of encounters with her past, to begin formulating beliefs of her own, those of her own free will. Freedom, the capability of believing what one wills for the sake of one's will, is what this novel seeks to explicate, not for apprehension, but for precaution, for even the most obvious of goods has a price. Rosanna strives for freedom, to define herself, but in so doing, loses her previous definition of herself, one which she was not wholly opposed to.

Is it worth it then, to sacrifice one's entirety, for the possibility of something new? And at what cost must the new come? What are the consequences? This novel is interested in the accepted; that is, the means of living that have become so redundant and pedestrian that one no longer seeks to consider them. Freedom is good. Blind belief is bad. But where do the two meet, and how can the two be resolved, if at all?