Restricted Access Thesis
Primary Advisor/Thesis Chair
Secondary Advisor/Outside Reader
The Madness is not simple—it’s not a cut and dry story about the apocalypse, the end of humanity, even if there are the familiar tropes and characters that can ground a reader. It’s not seeking for me to show off how many times I can say blood or have Si stab a bloodsucker through the heart. It’s not a gratuitous display of sex and violence. It’s not to soley highlight the creatures that twisted the world upside down.
The world is wild, unpredictable, and last of all, unfamiliar. It’ll only twist and turn further it goes, revealing truths and hidden realities. Yet, in the unfamiliar, there is something that refuses to let go. That is our humanity and the connections we forge with one another despite the circumstances that can do anything and everything in its power to destroy it. After all, at the end of the world, all we have left is ourselves.
Penny, given everything the world could have offered, falls prey to her depression and self-harm, a human habit that doesn’t just vanish overnight—but she needs to carry on to make a difference, that need stronger than giving up even when the world has nothing left to give.
Si, haunted by the ghosts of his past and the rejection of not being heard or understood after his trauma, can’t seem to move forward. His hate, so similar to that of the monsters, will learn to quell as he learns from Penny—of all the characters to—on how to be a little more human and how that’s needed in a world post-Madness.
Blake, problematic but needed. Even money couldn’t protect him and he is just another face in the crowd, everything lost. Gone is his status and he becomes just like everybody else, trying to survive and move on from their pasts—but struggling to see the future that lies ahead.
Yet, they will forge ahead into uncertainty. Humanity with continue to fight. It always has and always will. The good will always overcome the bad, even when the times seem bleak. In a world where nothing is familiar and monsters hold humanity’s fate in the palms of their hands, my characters are unflinchingly human and The Madness seeks to find the pockets of humanity and the connections between in the face of chaos.
Novel, Speculative fiction
DeLong, Chelsea, "The Madness" (2018). Creative Writing Programs. 27.