Title

Square Dance

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Hollie Adams

Second Committee Member

Gregory Howard

Third Committee Member

Ryan Dippre

Abstract

SQUARE DANCE is a collection of nine short fiction stories. The first eight are connected thematically and the ninth story is intended to simulate a “bonus track” like one would find in a musical album. The collection follows mostly male characters as they each react to the curveballs life throws at them in their twenties, and explore the tests, formation, and bonds of friendship. This project is a commentary on modern society and incorporates elements of dark humor, science fiction, and absurdity as a means of expanding the scope of social commentary. The emphasis on humor and orchestrated arrangement of this project is a conscious rhetorical attempt at creating a lasting impression on the reader the way music and comedy impact its listeners. This project was most heavily influenced by the work of Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, George Saunders, Raymond Carver, and Ernest Hemingway; who as a group taught me how to appreciate minimalism, respect the economy of language, and the importance of style.

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