Any Other Animal


Hagenston, Becky

Committee Member

Kardos, Michael P.

Committee Member

West, Robert M.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Grotesque elements in literature are often negatively viewed as an author’s attempt to simply twist reality in an effort to shock or entertain the reader. However, as I explain in my critical introduction, this view disregards the potential of the grotesque. It often has a specific purpose within a plot. It reveals things about characters that would not otherwise be exposed. I discuss this function of the grotesque in the works of Flannery O’Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, Truman Capote, and Brad Watson, and then show how these authors’ uses of the grotesque have influenced my own writing. In my collection of short fiction, each story contains grotesque elements that reveal and emphasize my characters’ hopes and fears.



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