Date Presented

Spring 5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Burke

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Marello

Third Advisor

Dr. Nicki Favero


Characters in literature have several different relationships, but one kind of relationship that stands out is that between a parent and a child. This kind of relationship can be loving, abusive, or in some cases, both. Just as in reality, this kind of relationship heavily affects how the characters grow and develop. The goal of this project is to examine how different parent/child relationships are depicted in different styles of writing and how it affects character development for the child. The difference between mother and father characters will also be examined to show how they interact with their children in separate ways and how these diverse parenting styles affect the growth of the child.

The following works will be closely studied because they encompass various writing styles and portray healthy and unhealthy relationships among parents and children: Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides, “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. This project will provide a new analysis of these works and their characters to determine how they portray the same theme of parent/child relationships differently, and how the child characters develop emotionally because of this. Looking at the craft of these works will also help me with writing stories of my own that involve this theme. These stories will be included at the end of my research.