The analyses of modernity, power, and resistance in the dystopias of margaret atwood

Görmez, Ayça Berna
This study aims at analyzing modernity, power, and resistance in Margaret Atwood’s dystopias. The examined books are The Handmaid’s Tale and MaddAddam trilogy (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam). It is argued that dystopian writings and social theories have much in common. These writings make us experience alternative worlds and they pose critique to the social organization, economic and political regimes. Through this critique, they have the power to trigger social transformation and change. This study seeks alternative ways of being and alternative social organizations. To do this, first, the general characteristics of the societies that are portrayed in The Handmaid’s Tale and MaddAddam trilogy are given. This is done with the help of the theories of modernity. Then, it is argued that critique is necessary for the transformation of society. For this critique, it is necessary to reveal the power structures that constitute and shape the organization of society as well as our current ways of being. It is argued that the modern form of power is biopower and neoliberal rationality constitutes the general framework of biopower. Biopower is both power over life v and power of life. And in this study, it is argued, to fight against the power over life, it is crucial to mobilize the power of life. And the power of life can be mobilized by promoting different rationalities than neoliberal rationality as well as producing different subjectivities than neoliberal entrepreneur subjectivity.
Citation Formats
A. B. Görmez, “The analyses of modernity, power, and resistance in the dystopias of margaret atwood,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.