Captive : a novel investigation of the nuclear family

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2006
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- Captive is a multi-voice first person narrative exploring a contemporary 'nuclear' family twenty years after an accidental death. Virginia, the middle child in a five-member family, drowned in a backyard swimming pool at the age of nineteen there is some mystery surrounding the death, and each member of the family reflects on her death in different ways. The story looks at 24 hours in the lives of Cath, Bil1, Shaun and Anna as they embark on a roller-coaster day of emotion, missed meetings, muddled phone-calls, emails that don't send, shopping malls, reality television stars singing karaoke and tunnels that have no end. Bill, the father, gets progressively drunk in his shed recalling the day he dragged his dead daughter from his swimming pool. Cath tries unsuccessfully to meet up with her son and connect with her daughter, a visiting author, while struggling with her own memories of breaking up with Bill and of the daughters she left behind. Shaun deals with the recent break-up his relationship to Daisy and the loss of his family, his own battle with sex addiction and his obsession with spy technology. Anna, fields off a relentless media determined to undermine her novel about sex and the middle-class woman, Love and Other Bruises. From this melange of voices comes an image of a middleclass family overwhelmed by sex, success and cosmetic surgery. The city they inhabit is soulless and empty: a wasteland, television radio and internet are always switched 'on', alcohol, their only escape. Captive is an existential foray into collapse of the contemporary nuclear family.
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