"Chloe: Dancing and Dying"
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This dissertation explores the themes of female identity and mortality through a piece of prose fiction accompanied by a critical commentary and reflection. Chloe follows the story of Chloe, a contemporary young female protagonist, through a series of short sections in a non-linear chronology. The third person narrative recalls elements of her relationship with Jack, a trip to Morocco to visit her recently estranged mother, past fishing trips with her father, a music festival and party with her friends and her experiences in hospital. As suspense builds around speculation of Chloe’s health and situation, more is revealed about her personality and the relationships she has with those around her. Recurring motifs of water and Greek mythology slowly lead us to the final realisation of the circumstances, and Chloe makes the decision to end her life. In the critical reflective essay, Dancing and Dying: Creating the Contemporary Female Protagonist in Chloe, I draw on the construction process of my creative practise, and the various characterising elements incorporated in Chloe to build the successful young female protagonist. I explore how other works of fiction and autobiography influenced the piece, be it the more medical, such as Rebecca Brown’s Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary (2003), to the more personal works of Tracey Emin and Katie Piper. I reflect upon the decisions I made as a writer, supported by critical opinion from writers such as David Lodge. I examine how aspects of my own personal experiences were included, how I used dialogue to reveal details of the characters, study the use of Morocco and other external features within the story before justifying the ending in which Chloe drowns herself.
Dissertation by Faye Robertson for the BA English & Creative Writing course, submitted May 2012.
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