The Ally Girls: A Portrait of Contemporary Women

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Title: The Ally Girls: A Portrait of Contemporary Women
Author: Gala, Christa Anne
Advisors: Dr. Elaine N. Orr, Committee Chair
Dr. Leila May, Committee Member
Wilton Barnhardt, Committee Member
Abstract: This thesis, a work of creative nonfiction, explores two subjects. One subject is an enduring friendship among four women that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood, examining the changes these relationships undergo as the women create their own families and allegiances and loyalties change. Comments and criticisms that were once easily accepted in childhood are taboo as these relationships progress. This group of women, The Ally Girls, navigates the changes and realizes each woman is ultimately on her own journey. The second subject is the protagonist, myself, as I "come of age" in the seven-year time span the piece covers, which culminates in my mid-thirties. During that time, I struggle to understand the end of my parents' marriage, my own obsessive compulsive tendencies, depression, pregnancy, childbirth and a chronic health diagnosis. Traditionally, young women come of age in their late teens to early twenties and many literary works document the experience. However, as a greater number of women attend college, pursue careers and marry and have children later in life, many contemporary women are not truly dealing with the full spectrum of conventional adult issues until much later. This thesis is an amalgam of the issues contemporary women face while underscoring the role female friendship plays in the discovery of self.
Date: 2007-12-14
Degree: MA
Discipline: English

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