|Description||The dissertation is a collection of seven original short stories, each portraying a central character who struggles to climb a symbolic "hill" towards a new pleateau of self-awareness or maturity. The stories are realistic, peopled with individuals cast in familiar
(and frequently complementary) roles: parent and child, husband and wife, student and teacher. Although the form and narrative techniques used in this dissertation are largely conventional, the stories explore variations of those techniques: both "A Question of Charity" and "Resort" use a third-person limited point of view, although "Resort" has a larger scope, with occasional flashbacks and more interlocking tensions between its characters than "Charity." "Visiting Hours," written from an effaced narrative viewpoint, is more heavily dependent on dialogue and objective descriptive detail than the other stories. The remaining four works are told in the first person, but with variant approaches: "More Hills to Climb" is narrated by an adolescent girl whose unreliable point of view permits an ironic comment on friendship and jealousy. "Viewpoints" is the only story told in the present tense; narrated by a young woman, it is divided into four sequential but fragmented scenes, a mosaic held together by a cornmon thematic concern with the ambiguities of motherhood. "Miss Newley" is told entirely in flashback, a memory piece. "Penelope Revisited" inverts Molly Bloom's soliloquy to probe the stream-of-consciousness reactions of a woman to her husband's infidelity.
In each story, narrative viewpoint and structure derive from character and situation. Although the stories are complete in themselves, they are intended to complement one another both thematically and structurally||en_US