Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Writing) Honours


School of Communications and Arts


Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Ffion Murphy


This thesis, comprising an excerpt from my young adult paranormal novel ‘Somewhat Damaged’ and an essay, examines the mythic potential of sleep paralysis, a paralytic transitory state between sleep and consciousness during which frightening hallucinations are projected onto the waking environment. While the neurophysiology is generally agreed upon, further investigation is warranted on the anomalous phenomena that manifests during sleep paralysis hallucinations. Within the theoretical framework of psychoanalysis, particularly Carl Jung’s collective unconscious theory (1959), I will imaginatively explore the recurring figure of the ‘incubus’ of sleep paralysis that has provoked ubiquitous fear and ambiguity. The essay will describe the ways that conventions of young adult and horror fiction have shaped the development and execution of ‘Somewhat Damaged’. The novel adopts a feminist approach, examining the concept of the ‘figurative orphan’ resulting from parental absenteeism and emotional distance, and conveying male and female attitudes towards female promiscuity. In addition, the essay will communicate my research in the area of sleep paralysis, its correlation with childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and its psychoanalytical potentials in ‘Somewhat Damaged’.

Included in

Fiction Commons