Living Strange, a novel
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SubjectHonors Theses; English; Creative writing; Young adult; Depression; Anxiety; LGBT; Magical realism; Ghosts; Artists; Art; Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
Living Strange is about a young webcomic artist, Aaron Bateson, as he survives a suicide attempt and must begin the arduous process of recovery. However, a muddled and strained family situation, along with the fact that he’s begun to see his dead ex-boyfriend’s ghost, is making it even harder. Living Strange is a story about healing and reclamation. Structurally speaking, it’s a coming-of-age story, filled with phantoms of the past. Mental illness, specifically chronic depression and anxiety, feature prominently in the story and how they color the voice of the protagonist. Additionally, persona narration and free indirect style are used to show how Aaron’s mental illnesses affect his consciousness and how he tells his story. Parallels are drawn between the protagonist and the late Dmitri through specific and controlled encounters, as Dmitri was never able to seek help for his depression. At its heart, this novel is a character study about how we heal when things go wrong, and when we’re at our rawest and most vulnerable.
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