First Advisor

Gabriel Urza

Date of Publication

Spring 7-17-2018

Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing






Fairy tales, Sex role in literature, Women in literature, American short stories



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 131 pages)


This collection of short stories explores themes of contemporary gender performance through the lens of the fairy tale. The stories examine both the reverberations canonical tales continue to have in American society today, and the new iterations of fairly tales we encounter in modern culture, particularly those which we burden young women through film and television.

Within the collection of stylistic conceits and narrative concerns specific to the fairy tale, these stories feature isolated narrators and themes of journeying through the forest. Each of these tales presents a female character or characters going into a metaphorical woods; the stories also often invoke the literal woods. The idea of "the handsome prince" figures here as well, in different explorations (most often lampoons) of contemporary masculinity. Many of these stories also foreground the particular dynamics and complexities of relationships between women: friends, rivals, lovers, teachers and students, mothers and daughters.


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This thesis is only available to students, faculty and staff at PSU.

Persistent Identifier