English, Department of


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English (Women's and Gender Studies), Under the Supervision of Professor Jonis Agee. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Megan Gannon


Set in a fictional town on the coast of Georgia in July of 1972, Cumberland is the story of two fifteen-year-old twin sisters, Ansel and Isabel (“Izzy”) Mackenzie, who have lived with their frugal, eccentric grandmother since the age of eight when their parents were killed in a car accident and Isabel was paralyzed. Over the years, the burden of caring for her sister has fallen increasingly on Ansel. However, as Ansel cultivates a romantic relationship with a local boy, as well as an artistic apprenticeship with a visiting photographer, her growing desires for selfhood and independence compromise her ability to care for her sister, thereby threatening their sororal connection, and ultimately, Isabel’s life.

Adviser: Jonis Agee

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