Rooms in My Father's House: Short Stories

Open Access
Author:
Mccool, Daniel William
Area of Honors:
English
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Charles Waters Thompson Jr., Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • fiction
  • short stories
  • small-town america
  • honors
  • thesis
  • small town
  • woodbridge
Abstract:
“Small-town America” has become a familiar trope in contemporary American culture, often viewed through a romanticized or warm filter. While this collection does not aim to rake up muck to shatter common social impressions thereof, it does investigate the underpinnings and operations of such communities, and it explores their scaffolding to show how “small-town America” has evolved to the present day. Through five stories in the northeastern town of Woodbridge, town residents deal with influxes of previously known outsiders who, like it or not, have come to be included in the demographic makeup of the town that was once uniquely their own. Citizens of all ages navigate traditional rites of passage, expectations thereof, and what happens when those rituals do not go exactly as planned. The faces of youth and old age have changed considerably from the glitzy Technicolor motifs still freshly in our memories, and Rooms in My Father’s House shows how we operate within those motifs and how we vary from them, and the implications of both sticking with and departing from tradition. In short, Rooms in My Father’s House sets out to answer the question of what small-town America has become, what it means to live under its auspices today, how much of the past remains with us, and how much it has been buried.