A Ray of Sunshine

This thesis project is comprised of two parts, a creative project and accompanying analytical essay. The creative project is a children’s novella about a young boy named Ray who is struggling to find his purpose and identity. In an industrialized and fast-paced world, he has become dependent on technology and alienated from the natural world. When he is given a dog as a gift from his grandparents’ neighbor, a descendent of a once local American Indian tribe, he follows the dog into the woods and is transported into a portal of sorts. This portal symbolizes the different aspects of the Native American Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop. On this journey, Ray realizes that if he looks, listens, and lives carefully among the pieces of the world, he will feel a better sense of purpose and belonging. In the analytical section of this thesis, entitled “Embodiment and Transformation: A Return to Being Bodies in Nature in A Ray of Sunshine,” phenomenology, imagination, and Native American culture and literature help to inform how, as people in our contemporary and developed societies, we have removed ourselves from our own bodies and our own natural habitats, and instead, have become dependent on false understanding of the world around us. These false understandings have taken over our own natural understanding of our own bodies and how we fit into the world, and therefore, often cause us to feel isolated and useless. As Ray discovers in the novella, we must return to nature and listen to our bodies as they commune with the environment. Here, we will find peace and understanding.



Work Title A Ray of Sunshine
Subtitle Embodiment and Transformation: A Return to Being Bodies in Nature in A Ray of Sunshine
Open Access
  1. American Indian
  2. Silko
  3. Alienation
  4. Transformation
  5. Medicine Wheel
  6. Mazis
  7. Native American
  8. Embodiment
  9. Phenomenology
  10. Imagination
  11. Merleau-Ponty
  12. Ceremony
  13. Nature
  14. Sacred Hoop
  15. Bachelard
License All rights reserved
Work Type Masters Thesis
DOI doi:10.26207/ehhs-8j93
Deposited October 06, 2020




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Halley_Swinn_Master_s_Thesis.pdf
  • Added Creator HALLEY JO SWINN
  • Published