Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. English Dept.


Robert Gillespie

Second Advisor

Douglas N. Archibald

Third Advisor

William B. Miller


The main idea of my novel is to describe the nature of the imagination and how it is influenced by contitioning . There are two distinct "worlds" in the novel -- the temporal world of the narrator, and the timeless world of Beatrice, the narrator's imagination. In the narrator's childhood the two worlds are similar, as the conditioning of the "real" world haven't yet influenced the sponteneity of the narrator. I use fantasy in much of this part to describe the innocent, carefree, "fantastic" nature of childhood. As the narrator grows and enters the world so does Beatrice. The social and moral codes begin to jeopardize the freedom of her imagination. Beatrice becomes a spiritual guide for the narrator -- illuminating the problems through dreams and images. Sometimes the conditions of the "real" world obscure the meaning of Beatrice, and other times the narrator realizes Beatrice's messages to her. As the narrator grows, and the problems and influences become more powerful and complex, Beatrice becomes more and more enigmatic. The two drift together and apart according to how strongly the world affects the narrator. By the end of the book, the narrator has overcome the conditioning of the world and the two worlds again merge, as it was in her childhood -- symbolizing the spiritual triumph of the narrator in spite of the force of the inhibiting world. I've written parts of my novel in different styles -- narrative, fantasy, surrealism. I favor surrealism as the most appropriate vehicle to describe my thoughts. Much of what I have here will be omitted or rewritten in this style (for example, the second part of my novel). I feel that symbols and surrealistic images create a more timeless atmosphere -- one that seems to generalize the philosophical thoughts I'm trying to present, most effectively.


novel, literature


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