Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Linda M. Belau

Second Advisor

Dr. Ed Cameron

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Mitchell


Author V.C. Andrews became known in 1979 with her first novel Flowers in the Attic and continued the series with Petals on the Wind, If There be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday. Problematic themes such as sudden accidents, romantic rape, incest, and mother daughter rivalry emerge continuously in each novel. In her interview with Douglas E. Winter, Andrews explains that since her debilitating fall down the stairs at the age of fifteen she lived with and depended on her mother. Unable to fulfill the goals of her childhood, Andrews read fairy tales, and romance novels and wrote her fantasies in the Dollanganger Series. The troublesome characteristics of sudden death, taboo sex, and gender roles reveal a stunted emotional development in the author. This thesis examines the possibility that the series's disturbing, repeated themes are inspired by Andrews's debilitating fall down the stairs when she was fifteen.


Copyright 2009 Angela H. Rice. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American