The purpose of this thesis is to explore the widely differing circumstances under which misanthropy flourishes. A short story collection, this thesis follows characters from various walks of life. Protagonists include a high school student, an accountant-turned-restaurateur, an ad designer, a public school spokeswoman and a veteran narcotics officer. Despite holding different values and living different lives under different sets of circumstances, each character is a victim or perpetrator (or, in some cases, both) of an unquestionably cruel act.
In presenting these stories as a single collection, this thesis will challenge conventional notions of innocence and culpability. All characters, no matter how sympathetic or well-intentioned, have a hand in whatever tragedy befalls them and others. As such, this thesis attempts to synthesize a Hobbesian view of human nature (animalistic and cruel, hence the title) with a Randian/existentialist recognition of the individual as the ultimate arbiter of his or her own destiny.
|Commitee:||Goddard Jones, Holly, Nova, Craig|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Department:||College of Arts & Sciences: English|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 48/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Modern literature, American literature|
|Keywords:||Original writing, Short stories|
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