Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Thomas De Haven


This contemporary young adult fantasy novel aims to challenge genre conventions around gender, race, and sexuality by having the protagonists (an assortment of young queer people) fighting not against a physically present villain, but against the driving force of “story”, which aims to reduce them to archetypal roles in order to act out familiar scenes. The Story attempts to force each of the four protagonists into roles (hero, monster, princess, witch) for which they are in some way fundamentally unsuited, and which would ultimately destroy them if they succeeded in conforming. This novel aims to call into question the motivations of archetypes in stories, and asks readers to examine how those archetypes resemble stereotypes. In this way, it also asks writers and other artists to consider their complicity in hegemonic thought through the perpetuation of stereotypes and norms in their writing and art as easy stand-ins for more complicated truth.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Sunday, March 15, 2218

Included in

Fine Arts Commons