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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)
Master of Arts (MA)
Miller, Brenda, 1959-
Hush Princess is a fiction collection that employs a contemporary remixing of fairy tales. This multi-form project follows fairy tale princesses and female fantasy protagonists as they traverse through worlds and realities that try to silence them. However, they break through and undermine those traditional notions of passivity and choice. This collection uses experimental found forms such as nutritional facts, online walking directions, and missed connections, along with traditional narrative forms, in order to re-examine and re-write the original fairy tales to provide illustrations of modern female silence, interaction, and acceptance. I am following and remixing the fairy tale traditions set by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen. For example, I recognize the nationalistic purpose of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales collection, but I utilize their type of violence more stylistically through my collection. As well, I'm continuing the feminist perspective on fairy tales like Anne Sexton and Angela Carter but augmenting the tradition with the addition of modern technologies. I anticipate the audience for this collection will be young adults. This is a deft and disturbing collection of female characters seeking agency and acceptance from themselves and those surrounding them. Those are common tropes in the young adult genre. However, I use them in addition to revitalizing the fairy tale genre for a technologically advanced generation who will appreciate the maturity these stories expect of them through the subtle use of tropes and adapted formats. My collection focuses on the agency of the female protagonists spanning a spectrum from those with the least agency, or voice, to those with the most. For example, in "Hush Princess," the narrator comes to Sleeping Beauty's castle intent on destroying her even if he destroys himself in the process. The man fights choice and destiny while once more silencing the fairy tale Princess. This story focuses on choices and the silent, passive and choice-less Sleeping Beauty. In "These Directions Are for Planning Purposes Only," dialogue and characters are removed to depict "Little Red Riding Hood" as strictly action-based choice. The narrative illustrates her journey as active not passive, and while vocally silent, her actions speak for her, thus breaking any perceived silence and passivity. In comparison, in "The Brass Key," the characterization is re-imagined as the female protagonist voices her appreciation and desire for her husband's secret collection of horror film memorabilia. By interacting with his secret self she is able to find a new mode of expression and break her previous silence. Finally, in "Missed Connections," through a series of Craigslist Missed Connections "The Little Mermaid" Prince silences and objectifies the "Ariel" character through the postings, which increase in inappropriateness. I wanted to give the Prince and the Little Mermaid voices to depict a modern form of communication that allows each to reclaim their assertiveness.
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Gordon, Emily K. (Emily Kirsten), "Hush princess: remixed fairy tales endowing female characters with authoritative voice" (2013). WWU Graduate School Collection. 272.