Crazy Kids Call Me in the Afternoon
thesisposted on 28.02.2019 by Jordan Cox
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
The overall question of my project is: how do separation and visibility affect human beings? I address in this manuscript some of the ways in which humans are affected by separation and how modern technology has changed interactions. Most people think that the dramatic changes will be in the future when it will be easy for people to only communicate through technology. I think that we are already affected.
In this manuscript, I look at the types of separation that people experience and the objects which separate them. I was inspired by how separation influences people in different ways. I see some strangers every day, yet don’t know their names. I talk to my pen pals every day, yet I’ve never met them in person. How do these situations function at the same time? I decided in answer to this question that separation must not affect each person in the same way, which is why I decided to use different writing genres in my project. Each genre would address in detail a certain kind of separation. As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message.”
My original proposal was to have a final manuscript with three different sections: poetry, short stories, and essays. Currently, there are no existing works which place different types of writing within one manuscript and discuss one idea. My project begins a consideration of a new genre. The first part of the manuscript was to be poetry. The poetry would focus on specific instances of visibility and obscurity. An instance of visibility might be a poem about how thin the walls of a tent in comparison to the walls of a house. The second part was to be short stories. These short stories would center on being away from home. One of the stories may have focused on a group of girls at a boarding school and how being away from home impacted them. The third part was to be essays. For these essays, I would have interviewed people that I talked to often but didn’t see in person. One of these people was to be a friend who lives in the Philippines and who was considering joining the French Foreign Legion.
In my actual project, I’ve created four sections: poetry, a novella, letters, and essays. The poetry section has remained the same. Each poem focuses on a moment in which someone is affected by separation. The second section has changed into a novella about Penelope Holyoake. Pen has a strange home life. She and her sister vie for their mother’s attention, their mother held a fake funeral for their father when they were children, and their neighbor’s daughter thinks that she has leukemia. The third section is a series of fictional letters from “Singer” to “Fern.” I decided to make these individuals fictional because with the act of writing a letter, you become a figment of the other person’s imagination. The last section is essays. In this section, I discuss topics ranging from death, being a girl, to what high school was like. I wanted to convey some of my own experiences with separation using these essays. I felt that my previous idea for essays, while it might have been interesting, didn’t communicate how separation affects individuals.