Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Warren Liu

Reader 2

Thomas Koenigs

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© 2016 Emma A. Beriker


This thesis explores Joan Didion’s concern of mass media’s infiltration on the processing and communication of her personal reality and memory. Didion herself communicates an anxiety of the infiltration of mass media into her individual communication of her unique, indescribable experience. Yet, she too is unable to escape this and instead, is forced to make this an act of adaptation, not separation. Mass media pervades Didion’s own mind, taking over her processing of experience and memory through the modes of photography and film. With these forms of mass media, Didion seeks a purity of personal expression through the form of writing. Ultimately, this proves to be just as problematic and is unable to escape the influence of mass media’s depersonalized representations of individual human experience.

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