Title

We Bare All

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English and Theatre

First Advisor

Julie Hensley

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Derek Nikitas

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

Nancy Jensen

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Abstract

We Bare All is a collection of nine short stories with male protagonists, both children and adults, who encounter various decision making situations. The children face opposition-- sometimes a common occurrence such as confronting a bully, and sometimes a strange situation such as burying a corpse. The young adults deal with their own trials, such as when a recently separated young man visits a roadside nude café, both to test how it feels to be single and to challenge his conservative religious upbringing. . These stories not only reveal previously unseen layers in the characters, but also explore the strange phenomenon where children can behave like adults and adults can revert to childlike conduct when confronted with bizarre situations. The resulting stories prize introspection and further a form of masculinity which is proven in non-traditional arenas such as video games, comics, and films. Also included, is a critical introduction which analyzes how the nine stories employ forms of distance, perspective, and the grotesque to establish theme.

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