The Desire of the Moth

Date

2024

Authors

Talley, Samantha

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Abstract

The Desire of the Moth constitutes the opening quarter of a novel that will follow a young man's first experiences with love and death. These events will unfold during his freshman year of college, placing the work in the genre of the campus novel. The story as a whole will concern how its protagonist Cole Autry mistakes his fascination with his classmate Sylvia for passion, fails to comprehend the romantic love he develops for his best friend Adam, and only recognizes these grave errors when Adam, Sylvia, and two other friends die in a mysterious hiking accident. Campus novels that influenced my thesis include Donna Tartt's The Secret History, Tana French's The Likeness, Joyce Carol Oates's Beasts, Sally Rooney's Normal People, and John Williams's Stoner. This first quarter of a larger work relays Cole's arrival at college; his initial experiences with classmates, courses, and his Romantic Literature professor; and the forging of a friendship group he will come to call the Geneva Crew (referencing Mary Shelley's genesis for Frankenstein at Lake Geneva).

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Department

English