The Ghosts of Guilt and Betrayal


Hagenston, Becky

Committee Member

Pierce, Catherine

Committee Member

Kardos, Michael

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


This creative thesis is comprised of stories that present characters who deal with guilt and betrayal and explores various points of view. My work is informed by Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which contains these themes and investigates narration. “Surviving Fog” centers around survivor’s guilt, while “Coming Full Circle, No Detour in Sight” demonstrates how a person can exert expectations on herself due to a religious background and personal values. Perhaps my most provocative story, “Beyond the Apple Orchard” delves into the emotional and physical betrayal of a father and the daughter’s struggles to overcome it. “Photographic Memories” embraces the surreal with a woman who can “read” photographs, whose story blends past transgressions that bleed into current ones, while “Send in the Clowns, Send in the Mob” explores herd mentality that stems from fear. Ultimately, each story contains kernels of truth that readers can grasp.




surreal||herd mentality||Murderous Mary||religion||True Love Waits||photographs||pregnancy||survivor's guilt||oppression||guilt||betrayal||fear||Junot Diaz||The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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