‘How to Make White People Happy’ is a creative and critical thesis that explores the nature of the journeying condition and the realities of cross-cultural immersion. The creative component is a collection of forty-three autobiographical stories that fuse elements of memoir, travelogue, satire and essay. In it, readers find docujournals about Indonesian slum life, hostile New Mexico cowboys, and star-struck pool boys who dream of fistfighting Chuck Norris. Alone in the city of Paris, a bereaved widow discovers some hard truths about travel and escapism, while on the bleak prairie barrens of Montana a grizzled recluse encounters a different kind of child’s play in an isolated barn. Readers also meet a dying Newfoundlander who dreams of an unusual cut of steak, two young lovers experimenting with the explicit in someone else’s house, and an abandoned Balinese orphan who rises to success in an elitist Anglo society. The exegesis which accompanies the collection focuses on western middle-class travel and discusses the influences and perceptions that drive it, primarily the influence of tourist media and its glorifications of travel life. Drawing from a range of scholars and writers such as Alain de Botton, James Clifford, Mark Twain, Gustave Flaubert and Charles Baudelaire, the commentary emphasizes that any alteration of our human condition occurs foremost through dynamic psychological shifts, rather than geographical ones. Other topics discussed include: belonging and displacement, the relationship between expectation and disillusionment, and aspects of travel narration, specifically humour, satire and point of view.
|Date of Award||2016|
|Supervisor||Rosemary Dub (Supervisor)|
How to Make White People Happy: A Short Story Collection
Marsh, T. L. (Author). 2016
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy