Fears and Reflections: Discovering Yourself Through the Personal Essay
Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in English
English Language and Literature
This thesis includes two parts: a critical analysis of personal essay considering a second-person view of how to fearlessly write personal essays and a collection of my own personal essays. The critical element includes examples of works that I consider support my theory of reflective journal writing as initial personal essays. This second-person instruction includes putting aside one's fear of audience and fear of one's self-revelations, as well as reflecting on how these fears detract from my own personal essay writing. The majority of this thesis consists of my own personal narratives in which I discuss relationships (sibling, children, parents, neighbors) and circumstances that make me the person I am at this point in time. Each essay focuses on one idea (perfectionism, insecurity, homesickness, travel, self-centeredness) while including the middle child outlook. Each theme connects to one another by my middle child experiences, and at times, by examples of my parents' dispositions. I have attempted to share with the readers how my position in the family defines who I am as an adult and how my parents' originality joins each relationship in our family with one, small thread. It is my hope that these essays benefit each other as a collection. Contents: Fears and reflections through the personal essay -- Most everyone's in the lake -- Insecurity blanket -- Mainland girl -- Minimum losses -- Perfect fear of regrets.
© Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Mitchell, Elizabeth Ann, "Fears and Reflections: Discovering Yourself Through the Personal Essay" (1997). MSU Graduate Theses. 203.