Unseen America is a glimpse into the lives of what American society considers to be low status men. "Kumbaya" involves a Cub Scout dealing with the fallout from a neglectful father and an alcoholic mother. "Devil's Tower" is about an overweight boy trying to prove himself in front of his peers. In "True Patriots," we see two displaced working class men forced to come to terms with an America that doesn't belong to them anymore or need them anymore. "Zippo Heart" deals with a recently divorced young woman spurring on the advances of a loser coworker while dealing with her grief over September 11th. Finally, "Devil's Backbone" showcases two days in the life of Caleb Jacobson, a native of West Virginia who can't let go of his heritage even when it puts him in danger. With Unseen America, I hoped to give light to men who are often seen as caricatures if they're even noticed at all. The stories wrestle with the questions of what it means to be a man in contemporary American society. Should a man do the right thing, and for what reasons: societal pressure or a tug of conscience? Does a man live for himself or does he devote himself to a higher ideal? Does he let others define who he is or does he live by his own code? Low status men wrestle with these questions every day, but it goes unseen.
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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)
Shuster, Jeffrey, "Unseen America" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4907.