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Alms & Matter


Alms & Matter

Spencer, Caitlyn (2016) Alms & Matter. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Alms & Matter works against the predominance of the tragic mode in queer narratives by taking heteronormative romantic tropes and reapplying them to characters who normally would be offered suffering and strife instead. The novel aims for a queer optimism rooted in a reality that is not, and should not be, limited to tales of queer suffering. The novel’s division into four parts reflects the setting which binds the characters together: a door-to-door fundraising office in Calgary. The protagonists follow a script when soliciting donations, of which Waiting, Rapport, the Ask, and Concern-Handling are fundamental parts. While we follow the characters through their work, we see the main plots go through the same format. The story is set up in Part I, disrupted and developed in Part II, the stakes raised in Part III, and the plot and subplots resolved in Part IV.

Setting the novel in a fundraising office blends oppression with lightheartedness; though the stories the protagonists present are often dire, many of the interactions they have at the door are startling, bizarre, and surreal. Though many of the scenes take place in or around the workplace, and the protagonists talk about contemporary global issues, the plot revolves around the social aspects of their lives. Both of the novel’s primary romantic plots begin with standard tropes of queer suffering, and typically end in tragedy. In Alms & Matter, these tragic tropes are averted.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Spencer, Caitlyn
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:15 May 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sterns, Kate
ID Code:981792
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 14:41
Last Modified:01 Oct 2018 00:00
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