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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Johnson, Nancy J. (Nancy Jean)

Second Advisor

Beasley, Bruce, 1958-

Third Advisor

Qualley, Donna J., 1952-


The Cumulus Effect is the first part of a longer work of contemporary young-adult, realistic fiction regarding the formation of identity, relationships, becoming independent and leaving home. Protagonist Violet is an eighteen year-old female who has just left her middle-class suburb of Alamosa, Colorado to start her first year of college. Her four year relationship has ended leaving her emotionally shattered. Coupled with her parents’ separation and slipping grades, Violet’s once confident and ambitious nature begins to crumble. Over time, through her proclivity for list making and the support of her new college friends, Violet learns to accept change. The Cumulus Effect refers to the rising of warm air from the surface that, when mixed with cool air, causes water vapors to condense, eventually forming a cloud. This process of accumulation is similar to the pressure Violet places on herself to be the person she once was. By embracing the idea that change is constant, Violet is finally able to construct a new self.




Interpersonal relations--Fiction, Identity (Philosophical concept)--Fiction, Young adult fiction


Western Washington University

OCLC Number



masters theses




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.