Stitches: A Novella in Pieces

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Seiff, Morgan
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Elizabeth Ellen May, Thesis Supervisor
  • Carla J. Mulford, Honors Advisor
  • creative writing
  • english
“Stitches: A Novella in Pieces” tells the story of sixteen-year-old Arthur, a young writer trapped in a cycle of self-inflicted anger for constantly falling short of his own unhealthy expectations. After an attempt to self-sabotage a scholarship opportunity to a prestigious boarding school, he, unexpectedly, gets in. His scholarship donor, an accomplished author, tells him to use his pain as material; he can transform it into something powerful. But he interprets this as a need to suffer for his art, a greenlight to continue his self-harm, and a challenge of how far he can push himself. Emboldened by his new circumstances, Arthur discovers that he is brutal and manipulative and surprisingly willing to put himself in traumatic situations. He chooses for the first time to live recklessly, entangling himself with another dangerous, troubled boy, and spirals into self-destruction. My thesis explores the question: is suffering necessary to create art?