Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Communications and Arts


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Marcella Polain


This creative Honours project is centred on a female protagonist and explores the transition from girlhood to womanhood in an unconventional home setting in modern rural Australia. It investigates the developmental effects of personal and cultural rites of passage, exploring themes such as time, nature, memory and fear. Using Erik Erikson’s framework of adolescent psychological development, particularly his theory of ‘adolescent crisis’, this work addresses the transitions, conflicts and growth, both inner and outer, mental and emotional, that the growing protagonist must navigate in order to achieve maturity and function past her girlhood into womanhood. The genre of magic realism is used to draw the reader into the protagonist’s slowly forming sense of self and worldview as she undergoes both culturally and personally constructed rites of passage in her coming-of-age process.