The Garden: Characterisation of the Serial Killer
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This dissertation explores the literary techniques that can be utilised to aid characterisation, with a specific focus on characterisation of the serial killer in a short piece of fiction. Written predominantly in the narrative style of the objective author, this creative piece aims to characterise the serial killer through an external view, thus glimpsing the serial killer’s mind purely by observation. This piece is stylistically similar to that of Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway with regards to minimalism and realism, as the writing within this piece aligns with the candid language and sparse description and dialogue that these styles endorse. The main themes within this piece are mundanity, obsession, murder, but also love, revealing that even one who appears to lack the ability to feel compassion, can love another. This is arguably the most effective method of characterisation; the creation of a multidimensional character, as we as humans are complex beings. In the critical section of this dissertation I examine the notions of minimalism and realism, with specific reference to Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler. This section also discusses my piece of writing alongside other works of fiction which also depict a character as a serial killer, such as texts by Brett Easton Ellis, Lionel Shriver, Thomas Harris and Iain Banks. The critical aspect of this dissertation discusses the sources that were utilised in order to gain knowledge regarding the serial killer, such as documentaries and texts suggesting characteristics of serial killers. This section also identifies literary techniques utilised within the piece with reference to critical texts, alongside a sustained analysis of the piece of writing itself.
BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing
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