Undergraduate Honors Theses



Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Jeffrey DeShell

Second Advisor

Noah Eli Gordon

Third Advisor

Matthew Pass


“Ambrose” was composed over the course of three very cold months in the winter of 2016, in response to Barth’s short fiction collection, “Lost in the Funhouse”. Many texts played some role in the influence and inspiration of this novella, though, it is Barth’s protagonist who is borrowed, and represented in the post-adolescent form. Likewise, it is Barth’s exploration of the funhouse, Barth’s complications of the journey, from which this project sought its


The foundations being something of loose irony here, in terms of the work’s architecture and design. Often, it is the very foundation, tradition, of narrative and Authority that this work seeks to question. “Ambrose” is fraught with internal contradictions: so much so, the implied speaker continually, and brazenly contradicts the logical consistency of the narrative-truth. These contradictions often arise in the form of imperatives, for example, that demand opposing actions from Ambrose, but also Reader. The result of this, or so I intended, is something akin to a ‘split’ from Authority to Narrator, from “Ambrose” to “You”. A space becomes presented to the Reader, by which the Reader may question the operation of Perspective and Authority itself. The Implied Speaker imposes queues and double-binds, demands, and pseudo-neutral positions upon the Reader, so that Reader may become privy to irony at hand, and possibly, resist against it.

About the second person perspective, Carlos Fuentes once wrote: “It’s a voice that admits it doesn’t know everything”. There’s something about this assertion that haunted me while working on this project, which I do not have entirely wrestled out today. It was partly my intention to explore the consequence of second perspective which does not admit, but openly flaunts, how little it knows of Truth, and of itself.

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