In July 2012, I left America for the first time to travel to Madurai, India, for a month-long journalism internship. The inspiration for the poetry in this work is deeply rooted in my experiences while in India, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Not knowing why I chose India to travel to for my first time abroad, I realized much later that I needed to be there in order to transition into the next stage of my life. I always wanted to experience what life was like without the amenities the Western world is accustomed to (hot showers, washers and dryers, reliable electricity, etc.). Through isolating myself from the familiar I woke up to a simpler, happier perspective on life. This isolation also stirred mixed emotions in me that I wasn't aware of until I began writing about the experience in these poems. The feeling of being watched by everyone was common and sometimes frightening or disturbing. This vulnerability was uncomfortable even though the experiences and realizations I had outweighed the negativity while I was in India. The intent of this thesis is to explore how I've grown and what I took from the trip while comparing my Indian experience to life before and after my visit. With unconventional structural elements, I set out to put life and movement on the page to represent the chaotic, beautiful India and the emotions that carried the weight of each poem. Just from one month of being surrounded by strangers who stared with stone eyes, a language I didn't understand and memories of a life I didn't miss as much as I thought I would, this thesis follows the imaginative perceptions of a sleeping person through her evolution into a waking life.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Farrell, Jessica, "Buried in the dust" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1400.