Womanhood, coming of age, exodus
Woman of Dust: An Exodus is a collection of themed non-fiction experiences and stories with themes, characters, and ideas that coincide deliberately and verge on the cohesiveness of memoir. The overarching themes of this collection are womanhood and coming of age. The stories examine the ways in which childhood crushes, current relationships, parenting, religion, and pets influence the growth of a child into an adult, in this case, a girl into a woman. They take individual moments, conversations, conventions, and thoughts and explore how they shaped the woman who now writes them. Stories range in content from how the standards of a southern Baptist church raised a girl who was afraid to date, drink, or kiss, about the role of God in the narrator's private life, to stories that explore how cartoon Disney prince crushes turn into crushing on neighbor boys and classmates, discovering the narrator's current conceptions of love as different from her early conceptions and questioning the ways in which those conceptions came into existence in the first place. These stories look at the domestic implications of religious life that dictate specific roles for women in a marriage relationship, and how the narrator interprets these implications in terms of her own love and pending marriage. Still other essays investigate how a mother's overbearing fear of sex, men, and drugs drove one daughter to be a small town porn star and drove the other to complete abstinence, how gender conventions shape a girl's mind, and how family life sometimes contradicts the same conventions. While the subject of each story is deeply feminine, revolving around a woman narrator and woman experiences, the content of these stories creates a very human experience, one outside the confines of gender. They are about one girl turned woman, from one perspective, and about one life, but they are mostly about being human, about growing, and about the ways in which humans grow.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Schultz, Lacey, "Woman of Dust: An Exodus" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4842.