Thesis Title

Black Snakes and Lone Pines: Personal Essays and Reflections on the Genre

Date of Graduation

Summer 2000

Degree

Master of Arts in English

Department

English

Committee Chair

Nancy Walker

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature

Abstract

The personal essay is often a misunderstood genre because its form and subject matter are hard to pin down into a single definition. This thesis looks at the nature of form, subject and purpose of the personal essay. The critical introduction explores my reasons for writing personal essays; analyzes the persona, or ethos, present in the personal essay; and posits a description of the genre. I then evaluate seven selections of my own writing, placing each one (or both) of two sub genres of the personal essay--a short (personal essay under 2000 words) or a lyrical essay (a form closely tied to poetry in its use of language and dependence on "gaps").

Copyright

© Carla Anderson

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Dissertation/Thesis

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