Award Date

5-1-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Douglas Unger

Second Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Third Committee Member

Vincent Perez

Fourth Committee Member

Robert Futrell

Number of Pages

240

Abstract

The following thesis, a novel titled They Knew Full Well, tells the story of a construction

worker, Damon Barley, whose family is torn apart by the tidal shifts of a futuristic society, one

facing massive overpopulation problems. A science-fiction novel in many ways, the setting is

based on a wide breadth of research in fields that include genetics, sustainable urban

development, climate change, and the progression towards an information-intensive job market.

The conflicts between characters and their setting serve to highlight the potential challenges of this plausible future. They also attempt to form an interweaving, riveting plot to captivate the

reader and ultimately raise questions about the direction of our current society and culture.

Although entirely fiction, They Knew Full Well remains plausible because of the very

human tendencies of its characters as well as the factually-based descriptions in its setting. As

the story progresses, it becomes clear that accommodating for an overwhelming number of

people ultimately requires the sacrifices of basic freedoms on an individual level. The characters,

in many places throughout the novel, are forced to give up their desires, dreams, and choices for

the greater good of their society. By the end of the story, many of the characters are

fundamentally changed, or they choose to entrench themselves selfishly against the common

good. The conflicts that arise do not end well for either party, and the story, by the end, sheds

light on our very human qualities of both selfishness and altruism.

The thesis is roughly 240 pages in length, comprised of thirteen chapters, as well as a title

page and table of contents. Written in the third-person point-of-view, the prose, description, and

dialogue have all been given close attention so that the form in many ways matches the content

of the story.

Keywords

Angela; Damon; Fiction; Kollmer; Novel; Walter

Disciplines

Creative Writing

Language

English

Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2020


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