McCrea, S. L. (2021). Into The Carrier Bag: A Narrative Gathering. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2430
This thesis is a search for carrier bags, a forage for a way of looking at language, at subjectivity, and at stories which emphasizes collectivity over individuality, holding over spearing, and reciprocity over the solipsistic “spear narrative” of the singular, autonomous hero. Starting from Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction,” an essay which conceives of storytelling as a practice of gathering multiple entities into a container, this project moves through three novels—Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Clarice Lispector’s Água Viva, and Le Guin’s The Word For World is Forest—to explore how form-conscious storytelling can subvert conceptual frameworks which instigate harm in gendered, colonial, and environmental relations. Through drawing our attention to and questioning the forms in which narratives are presented, this thesis hopes to decenter the belief that the spear narrative dominant in the Western tradition is the only possible narrative, instead viewing literary form itself as a carrier which, through its construction, greatly influences the meanings it imparts.