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The Undertow


The Undertow

McCuaig, Kaitlynn (2019) The Undertow. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The Undertow is a novel about the rash actions of a few determined individuals attempting to rescue a group of pit bulls who are being used for dog fighting in the Greater Toronto Area. Through the act of caring for these damaged dogs, the characters are forced up against the traumas that Canadian society as inflicted on them and begin to re-examine the roles that abuse, caregiving and forgiveness have played in their lives and the lives of the dogs they are rehabilitating. The novella is a psychological drama that slowly reveals the ghosts compelling the characters to act, without giving away whether the characters themselves fully comprehend their ghostly motivations. It pursues difficult moral questions through an ethics of care that weaves together an affinity between the human and animal in ways that also push back against that affinity. It is a novella where the silences and unspoken realities are as present and functional as what is articulated and demand equal importance on the page.

The Undertow is an exploration of the liminal psychological spaces that follow trauma, how the boundaries around these spaces are developed and renegotiated, and the unknowable, ever-shifting interior of the survivor. How do we go about confronting trauma safely? How much do we owe other survivors like us? What is the cost of caretaking, and what do we owe ourselves as caretaking survivors? The novella tackles the complexity of these questions and refuses the neat and satisfying resolutions that flatten the lived experience.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McCuaig, Kaitlynn
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:1 April 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Brynes, Terence
ID Code:985209
Deposited By: Kaitlynn McCuaig
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 16:02
Last Modified:28 Oct 2022 00:00
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