Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Warren Liu

Reader 2

Michele Decker

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© 2024 Kayla Alcorcha


This thesis investigates Anne Carson’s Plainwater (1995) and Autobiography of Red, two books that exemplify her disruption of fixed conventions of genre, language, love, and translation. I identify the three primary modes in which Carson explores desire—disempowering attachment, profound loss, and coming to knowledge. As the conceptual framework for my analysis of desire in Carson’s prose and poetry, I will be relying on Eros the Bittersweet, her critical-lyrical meditation on love in ancient Greek literature and philosophy. Additionally, I investigate Carson’s pattern of describing each of these modes of desire as distinctly “human” phenomena.

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