Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Lackey, Kris

Second Advisor

Cooke, John

Third Advisor

Doll, Daniel


Carson McCullers's neglected short stories "Sucker", "Like That", and "The Haunted Boy" depict stark adolescent crises. Her character analyses dramatize important elements of many theories of adolescent psychology. Each of these stories depicts what happens when something goes horribly wrong in the course of an already difficult stage of life. In "Sucker" two different stages of adolescent development collide. Pete and Sucker go through different psychological adjustments. The two boys discover the difficulties of adolescent romance, hero-worship, peer group formation and exclusion, and power reversal. The narrator in "Like That" struggles with her Peter-Pan complex as she witnesses her sister go through an adolescent romance. She despises - and fears - the changes that adolescence and adulthood bring to her life and her family. "The Haunted Boy" explores the struggles of Hugh as he deals with issues of adult imitation, lack of a strong male role model, peer loyalty, and emotional repression.


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