Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Young, Lillian. Exposed Wires. Undergraduate Honors Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2024.


Exposed Wires is a collection of short stories that explores how a variety of characters respond to the losses they suffer and are transformed by the fears they are forced to face. Each of these protagonists undergo a fundamental change in perspective, moral attitude, or identity as they attempt to reconcile themselves to the traumatic experiences they must encounter, and the short stories in this collection highlight the ways that these experiences shape the people they become. "Exposure and Repentance at Franklin and Main" examines a father's cynical response to a vision of the death of his entire family. "Turning Off the Water" is centered around the reflections of a teenage boy who tries to grieve the sudden loss of an older brother he is estranged from. "My Mother's Room" follows the struggles of an eldest daughter compelled to protect her sisters from the mother she used to know. Finally, "Exposed Wires" sees one young woman attempt to reclaim control over the self she lost when she was only a girl. This collection was influenced by the iconic work of authors Denis Johnson, Ottessa Moshfegh, David Foster Wallace, Raymond Carver, and Ernest Hemingway, as well as psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. These stories are intimate character studies of four protagonists who are at the mercy of their memories, and each of them serve as individual experiments in style, time, space, and perspective.