Title

Chrysalis

Abstract

Chrysalis is a novel of literary realism that explores how trauma impacts our relationships with others and with ourselves. We follow Ophelia Humber, a shy, intelligent twenty-eight-year-old, on her tumultuous journey to heal from her traumatic childhood and move on to a better life for herself. Still living in her childhood home, Ophelia struggles to come to terms with the death of the love of her life, Jack, and to sever ties with her deceased, emotionally abusive mother, Freya, and her absent, alcoholic father, Doug. For Ophelia, moving on means maintaining a stable job at the local botanical garden, moving into a home of her own, and opening herself up to a romantic relationship. Attempting to reconcile with her past, she works on her mental well-being with Dr. Cameron, a psychiatrist, but underestimates how difficult and frustrating it will be to revisit her past, the very thing she wants to let go of. When Ophelia meets Paul, an amiable, flirtatious musician, she believes she may have found a keeper, until Paul betrays her just as others in her past have done. Her father, having served a fifteen-year prison sentence for DUI manslaughter, tries to reunite with Ophelia to make amends, but she is suspicious of his true intentions and cannot bring herself to forgive him. As Ophelia grapples with absence and identity, longing to be a part of something that she can't quite name, she seems to continuously take one step forward and two steps back.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Kolaya, Chrissy

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

English

Degree Program

Creative Writing

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008894; DP0026173

Language

English

Release Date

December 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

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