COPING WITH LIVING, DYING, AND WHAT’S IN-BETWEEN: SHORT STORIES
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My thesis includes a collection of short stories that showcases my growth and potential as a fiction writer. The thesis also includes a critical introduction that highlights my aims and the influences on my work. My introduction seeks to establish the overarching purpose of creative work. Specifically, I focus on how my work reflects the theme of using projection as a defense mechanism to cope with internal and external crises that force characters to deal with undesirable situations or aspects of their personality. The introduction then expounds on the commonly accepted Freudian definition of ?projection,? as well as the related Jungian ?shadow.? Both of these psychoanalytic concepts are closely linked to the doppelg�nger. To expound on the tradition of using these concepts in literature, I list works that employ these themes and dispute the traditional association of such themes with invariably tragic endings. Next, I attempt to explode the common assumption that links projection to dysfunction by pointing to both maladaptive and adaptive uses of projection. I point out that people can project both negative and positive aspects of their personality onto outside entities with both positive and negative consequences. I then detail examples from my stories that reflect these uses of projection. I go on to further expand the definition of ?projection? by challenging the notion that people only project aspects of their personality onto other people and that this is a strictly psychological process, providing additional examples from my work. Finally, I illuminate how my stories seek to reevaluate the common assumption that the doppelg�nger and the ?shadow? are figures that foreshadow destructive outcomes. Next, I move on to a discussion of the specific research methods and influences of each story, drawing on literary works and personal reasons for exploring my topics. I also mention how previous study has fueled my work on the themes in these stories. The stories themselves are products of my purpose and research. My conclusion relates how these stories reflect my theme and purpose and how they shaped my growth as a writer.
Elliott, Elise M. (2009). COPING WITH LIVING, DYING, AND WHAT’S IN-BETWEEN: SHORT STORIES. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from