Hidden Variable is a novel that blends linear storytelling with the novel-in-stories form. It poses questions about the nature of identity as well as the feasibility of personal power, particularly with respect to disorders of the mind. Darla Pierson, the novel’s protagonist, is a woman in crisis. She is steeped in selfloathing brought on by the knowledge that she has, in effect, become her dead father—a genius with an epic libido, habitually using and discarding people. Her father has another habit that Darla doesn’t share: being struck by lightning. After the second strike kills him, Darla makes a conscious attempt to recreate herself. But soon the new Darla sinks into depression, and her act begins to crumble, damaging her and those around her. Throughout the years, she and her family members experience periodic clashes with nature, never fully realizing that sometimes the most powerful, most devastating opponent comes not from without, but within.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities,
Harms, Heather, "Hidden Variable" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2388.