Title

The Beekeeper's Son

Identifier

etd-06102008-131317

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Set in the era of Facebook-inspired, The Beekeeper's Son explores powerful questions of identity, sexuality and trust against the backdrop of an aggressively suburban St. Louis county. It centers on a teenage boy who believes he is Sylvia Plath, and the people caught in his orbit: Louise, his widowed mother, who sees monsters in every cobweb; Carlson, her boyfriend, a man who dates women under an assumed identity; and Eve, a young woman with thick emotional scars and the mistaken impression that Sylvia is safe. After his attempted suicide, Sylvia's mother forces him into therapy for what she believes are his lies. In her sanitized world, someone as out of place as her son must be faking it. It is in his psychiatrist's waiting-room that he meets Eve, the first person who believes him. She gives him the means to truly re-create himself as the poet he wants to be. Buoyed by Eve's devotion, Sylvia begins to hunt of Louise's boyfriend, who attracts him not only sexually, but as a kind of prey. Carlson, believing Louise's son is really her daughter, attempts to befriend Sylvia, and even reveals his real identity. Armed with this secret knowledge, Sylvia begins a subtle seduction, and drives a wedge between Carlson and his mother. Ignoring Eve's anger and jealousy, Sylvia violates her trust by making a move on Carlson – an act that detonates his mother's relationship and releases her pent-up anger at his existence in her life: a constant weight around her neck and reminder of her dead husband. After a month spent away while his mother 'redecorates,' Sylvia returns to his home and his now secretly pregnant girlfriend. Eve tries to regain what she's lost by tempting Sylvia out of the house and into public, where a group of her drunken classmates beat him severely. In the end, Eve and Louise must finally meet over their sun's unconscious body, and begin to grope towards some kind of human connection other than the stifling anger over their own thwarted dreams

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

James Bennett

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