Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Danielle H. Dallaire
The stories in Paralysis each depict individuals trapped, in one way or another, by their situations. Whether they are confined by a long car ride or an unhappy home, by guilt or grief, by the relationships in their lives, by the choices they have made in the past, or by their own flaws, each character searches for a way out of their predicaments. Beginning with the story for which the collection gets its name, "Paralysis" follows a college-aged girl through her grief and confusion after the attempted suicide of a mentally ill friend. In the next story, "Killing Nancy," a little girl takes out the frustration and anger of living with a neglectful, pill-addicted mother on her mother's beloved dog, Nancy. In "SleepEasy," freedom and responsibility have suddenly fallen on the oppressed wife of a Christian minister after severe insomnia and resulting depression have put him out of commission. But after starting an experimental drug called SleepEasy, he is promising a speedy recovery that will challenge her new-found independence. In the story "Perfectly Fine," a man too confident in his moral superiority invites a homeless man into the car with his disapproving wife and thirteen-year-old daughter, and their short trip takes an unexpected turn. In "Survivor," Gregory, an uptight and painfully awkward grad student, is looking to break out of his shell and spice up his boring life on a research trip to Arkansas with Susan, Gregory's research partner and extroverted opposite. Finally, "Joe" considers the life of an Iraqi soldier returning for two weeks to his grandparents' home in a small West Virginian town. Although he is able to pour out his life story to a stranger on the plane, Joe finds it impossible to connect with his own family or feel at home in the house he grew up in.
English, Sarah, "Paralysis: A Collection of Short Stories" (2010). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 729.
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