Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Nicholas Warner

Rights Information

© 2012 Kelsey Brown


This paper is a collection of examinations into various topics in the nonfiction works of Joan Didion. The chapters are written from a personal perspective and delve into themes most meaningful to the author. The paper begins by probing Didion’s treatment of feminism and her opinions towards female figures in society, namely Lucille Maxwell and Georgia O’Keeffe. Didion’s essay “Georgia O’Keeffe” serves as a transition from feminist issues to a discussion of how “style is character” and the extent to which writing is an aggressive and hostile act. Didion’s assertion that writing is an invasion of sorts opens an exploration into the way writing is an act of communication and Didion’s strength of diction. Finally, this thesis concludes with a discussion of how Didion uses her private notebooks as a format for communication with herself, paying special attention to the importance of “nodding terms with the people we used to be.”

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.