A POSTHUMANIST STUDY OF THE DYSTOPIAN NOVEL: MARGARET ATWOOD’S ORYX AND CRAKE, JEANETTE WINTERSON’S THE STONE GODS, DAVID MITCHELL’S CLOUD ATLAS

2022-2
Kasurka, Mahinur Gözde
Demonstrating the adverse effects of modernity on life practices, the politics of life emerges as a significant issue in the twentieth century dystopia. The twentieth century dystopia focuses on autocratic regimes’ regulating life practices of the anthropos. With the advanced technology, rising trans-national corporations and ecological concerns, the contemporary dystopian novel shows a gradual transformation by revealing the fragility of the human in a similar manner with the othered figures of human-centred discourse. This non-anthropocentric tendency in the post-millennial dystopia resonates well with critical posthumanist perspective in its ability to embrace the difference as a sign of multiplicity and critique of the human-centred mindset of modernity. This dissertation aspires to underline the critical posthumanist horizons emerging in the contemporary dystopia by offering a new conceptualization of dystopian novel in line with politics of life. With this aim, this study offers zoe-oriented dystopia as a new conceptualization to underpin the entanglement of human and non-human in the contemporary dystopian novel. The study offers a critical posthumanist reading of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods (2007), and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), as precursors of zoe-oriented dystopia. These novels mark a transition in the dystopian novel genre in the twenty first century by foregrounding the following tenets: a transformation from autocratic governments towards trans-national organizations, an intertwined relationality of nature/culture together with human/non-human, and lastly hybridity on the genre level. This dissertation argues that the mutual bonding between human and non-human life forms offers a cherishing of multiplicity in the contemporary dystopia as a reaction to the restrictive attitude of Humanism.

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Citation Formats
M. G. Kasurka, “A POSTHUMANIST STUDY OF THE DYSTOPIAN NOVEL: MARGARET ATWOOD’S ORYX AND CRAKE, JEANETTE WINTERSON’S THE STONE GODS, DAVID MITCHELL’S CLOUD ATLAS,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.