Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Warren Liu

Reader 2

Leila Mansouri

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2020 Rowen D. Light-Wills


I started this poetry project from the jumping off point of psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott's most well known theory; that of the "good enough" mother. This appealed to me because like Freud's, Lacan's, and other psychoanalysts’ work, it centers the infant and attempts to understand the developing psyche. In combination with Melanie Klein’s theories, this thesis aims to pinpoint specific anxieties that transcend childhood and feel applicable to the rest of the relationships a person develops in their life. Did they experience nurturing and detach from their primary caregiver at a developmentally healthy time? Or did they lack some relationship between either parent, and consequently blame themselves for this lack of closeness? What happens to this guilt? Does a person's relationship to their parents influence their religious beliefs and conception of a God figure? What role do residual feelings of guilt play in identity building, especially in terms of sexual and gender identities which may already be associated with shame? Klein posits reparative love as the antidote to many forms of paranoia and childhood anxieties. The ultimate project of this thesis is to meditate on these ideas, analyzing whether poetry allows the poet to feel a sense of resolution and reparation through the act of questioning.

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