Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Animal Cruelty
by Goldstein, Zacary J., M.F.A., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2010, 108; 1476268
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Parker, Michael
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, Creative writing
Keywords: Original writing, Short stories
Publication Number: 1476268
ISBN: 978-1-109-77512-9
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