This Independent Study Thesis examines how the environment is explored in transnational dystopian literature and traces how the authors counter the Western tradition of dystopian thought. Utopia for one creates dystopia for another. I began this project with curiosity about the genre outside of Western regions, in places where dystopia is not commonly explored. With this, I hoped to discover ideas and ruminations that I had not come across in some of the more traditional texts in the genre, such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Alduous Huxley’s A Brave New World. I did, however, still expect to find a variety of themes such as technological overuse, human exploitation and oppression, and governmental despotism. While these components were present, they were not the primary factors of the four texts that I analyzed. In the study of four texts from Egypt, Japan, Finland, and Pakistan, I discovered that people from all over the world maintain fears based explicitly around environmental decline. This fear is exemplified through their imagined worlds that depict resource scarcity, despotism, erasure of culture, the destruction of family, and the disintegration of the natural world and our individual bodies. I engage with these authors to examine how they believe that our ways of life across the globe will change in the coming years. I then argue that we will need to alter our ways of life now if we hope to maintain the integrity of our governments, families, and relationships with the natural world. At the end of the critical examination there is a creative piece which explores the themes analyzed throughout the transnational dystopias as they interweave with traditions of Western dystopias. The two projects come together to explore how and why we must move forward into an era of change in the present day if we hope to maintain the integrity of the structures most crucial to us.
Peacock, Andrew Newcomb, "A Grave New World: A Critical and Creative Study Examining Environmental Decline Within Transnational Dystopian Literature" (2020). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8992.
Creative Writing | English Language and Literature | European Languages and Societies | Reading and Language
Creative, Critical, English, Writing, Literature, Transnational, Ecocriticism, Biopower, Environment, Climate Change
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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