"An Innocent Sky"

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Title: "An Innocent Sky"
Author: Hoppenworth, Elizabeth Jane
Advisors: Lucinda MacKethan, Committee Member
William Henderson, Committee Member
John Kessel, Committee Chair
Abstract: "An Innocent Sky" is a coming-of-age story in novella form. The novella is almost a kind of literary Purgatory, in a nebulous category all its own somewhere between the short story and the novel. Although it should have a tight structure and limited point of view, like a short story, the novella allows the luxury of unfolding time and space, and including a larger cast of characters, that the short story cannot accommodate. Told from a limited point of view, as in a short story, "An Innocent Sky" follows a young boy who will turn twelve on July 20, 1969, the day the first men set foot on the moon. Like most Americans in July, 1969, Tommy Ryan closely follows the momentous events of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Even in the small town of Mormons' Crossing, in southeastern Iowa, where "nothing ever happens," there is a sense that the moment men set foot on the moon, nothing will ever be the same. For five days, between July 16, when the Apollo 11 rocket left the confines of earth, and July 20, when the spacecraft touched down on the surface of the moon, Tommy and the people around him watch expectantly, not knowing what will happen. Tommy learns that growing up is "not all it's cracked up to be." Worlds great and small can change within a matter of days, and in only one moment, a boy can cross a line and leave innocence and childhood forever.
Date: 2002-09-08
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2763


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