Date of Award

5-2014

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Greg Howard

Second Committee Member

David Kress

Third Committee Member

Sarah Harlan-Haughey

Abstract

Loam is a brief novella which follows the progress of a teenage boy over the course of his last year in his hometown in Northern Maine. The primary themes of the inability to understand one’s community and of leaving home are expressed through alternating chapters of snippets of small-town life juxtaposed against depictions of dreams and imaginative fantasy. The protagonist James contemplates his dissatisfaction against his imaginary alter-ego Benjamin, and endures a changing relationship with his fictional self as his relationship with his hometown increasingly change. The struggle centers around perceptions of being unable to be a continuing part of the protagonist’s home community, while tension and uncertainty looms in the future as the disintegration of town and family and friend groups threaten the people he loves.

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