Round ‘Are Way
: An exploration of the representations of working-class characters and stereotypes in twenty-first century fiction

  • Melissa Radband

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Round ‘Are Way is a creative and critical project consisting of three short stories entitled ‘Joanna’, ‘Steven’, and ‘Caroline’. There is also an accompanying exegesis which engages with critical literature surrounding some of the concepts and issues discussed in the three stories. The three characters in the stories are all interlinked by the event of a funeral. The story titled ‘Joanna’ focuses on a young girl who is dealing with the death of her childhood best friend. She is also moving into adulthood and dealing with the loneliness and isolation she has felt since she first moved away for university. The story ‘Steven’ focuses on a middle-aged man who is experiencing issues in no longer feeling at home where he lives and disdain with the career he chose. Steven reflects on his life growing up in a working-class post-industrial town before moving to a big city and experiencing expressions of sexuality he has never experienced and meeting his best friend. The story titled ‘Caroline’ is an exploration of a mother’s relationship with grief after the sudden, unexpected loss of her only child. Caroline is lonely in her empty house and pushing everybody away. The accompanying exegesis looks into the accessibility of publishing as a career for people from working-class backgrounds and the representation of working-class fiction in publishing. The paper will also explore the ways in which working-class characters are represented in twenty-first-century fiction and draw on pre-existing theories and ideas of how one’s perceived class intersects with other experiences and aspects of identity. The representation of place will be focused on by comparing my own creative work with that of other authors, along with theories and analyses about evoking a sense of place. The paper will also focus on the different stereotypes the characters in my stories may have previously been subjected to and how I attempted to subvert them.
Date of Award19 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSarah Falcus (Main Supervisor)

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