Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jennifer Murvin


This thesis begins with a critical introduction about narrative closure, as opposed to traditional narrative resolution, in fiction. I cite the work of John Gardner, T.S. Eliot, Milan Kundera, and Charles Baxter to explore the functions of motif, objective correlative, and symmetrical composition, focusing on how these three ideas inform effective characterization. I argue that narrative closure achieves equally if not more satisfying endings by prioritizing characterization above all other aspects of plot. After the critical introduction, you will find works of short fiction and flash fiction. A common theme among the longer, more traditional stories is the process through which narrators make sense of bizarre, traumatic, or potentially unbelievable events. The flash fiction pieces put readers directly into unfamiliar environments, which are rendered as such through either nuanced narration styles or deliberately unrealistic settings.


objective correlative, symmetrical composition, motif in fiction, resolution in fiction, closure in fiction

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© Shane E. Page

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