This thesis is a collection of short stories written over the years 2002 to 2006. The short story is a genre that requires brevity. The short story writer, instead of treating the totality of human life, is forever, as Frank O'Connor suggests, selecting the point at which he can approach it. For this reason, unlike the novel, there is very little dallying in the short story. The short story writer, as the form requires, must make his world believable and coherent with only a minimum of words. Based on the experience of the actual author, the short story, like all fiction, entertains and distracts us from our troubles, and broadens our knowledge of people and places. The short story seeks to create an image of the life process by which we feel ourselves moving toward meaning. In brief, the short story, if it is any good, does many things: it convinces us through what can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched in such a way as to render the highest possible justice to the physical world; it creates a vision that allows the reader to see different levels of meaning in one image or situation; it gets at the mystery of existence embodied in the prosaic of life as well as in the extraordinary; and it has a sense of immediacy. This work explores a variety of themes: the body's ability to remember and internalize both positive and negative actions; the perceived importance of money, status, and respect in marital relationships; how the inability to forgive can make the victim just as culpable as the offender; the middle ground between love and hate; and how sorrow and joy are necessary components for a well-adjusted life. The combined experience of reading this work should be, first, to entertain the reader, and, second, to allow him or her contact with the mystery of existence.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Shoemaker, Ryan Craig, "The Memory of the Body and Other Stories" (2006). All Theses and Dissertations. 794.
short story, creative thesis