Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Eric L. Tribunella

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Alexandra Valint

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Ery Shin

Committee Member 3 School



Along with having similarities in their themes and narrative perspectives, John Donovan’s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip. (1969) and Isabel Holland’s The Man Without a Face (1972) use similar tropes like attraction to older men and the death of the protagonists’ pets. Both protagonists tend to associate their fathers with potential sexual partners as an attempt to find companionship with anyone they perceive as mature within their immediate social circle. When their fathers or father figures are unavailable, they fill this gap by forming bonds with their pet animals as substitute companions. This practice prepares them for future relationships. In this thesis, I argue that the feelings of loss from the termination of the intergenerational relationships and the trauma from the death of the pets accelerate their maturation process and solidifies their sexual identity.

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