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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Philip L. Frana
Laura Audax is a sixteen-year-old girl who has an interesting set of characteristics. She is a dynamic mixture of compassion, stubbornness, brilliance, recklessness, imagination, and arrogance. The way the world understands these personality traits has transformed and evolved over time. If a girl like Laura lived in four different time periods, society would react differently to her in each era, but the overall question is how different these reactions really are. Does the definition of what makes certain personality traits “good” or “bad” change over time?
The following four stories take place in 1850, 1920, 2015, and 2100 respectively, and each time, Laura is the central character. It is important to know that each rendition of Laura is totally separate from the others, and she had no recollection that she may have lived in a different time period. Laura’s personality is kept constant for the sake of each surrounding culture to evaluate and make judgements about her.
Jane is another recurring character in each of these short stories. She acts as the audience’s looking glass, and is a representation of how the people of each time period react to a girl like Laura. She too is unaware of being a part of the other stories in the other time periods; however, she is subconsciously linked to the learning experiences of her former selves. This link represents how individuals are able to learn from history, and grow in accordance to the experiences of their ancestors.
Lastly, Jane’s close friend is a representation of the voice of society. She is quick to offer Jane her opinions about Laura, which align with how the world in each era would view those traits. She is not written as the same person each time, because society’s ideals and values change each time. The voice of Jane’s friend, and other surrounding characters, guide Jane’s opinions on her journey of judging Laura.
Richardson, Rebecca E., "Judging Laura" (2015). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 50.