Neither a mother nor an other: nature’s literary emancipation in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks

Özcan, Rabia Elif
Deriving from the comparative analyses of William Golding’s Lord of The Flies (1954) and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks (1988), this thesis discusses how ecocriticism and ecofeminism may, in particular cases, pose a discriminatory anthropocentric perspective despite bearing an eco-centered principle. Nature is mostly susceptible to being both otherized or/and motherized in these texts, that are constructed around an anthropocentric view. The novels represent the dialogue between human beings and nature through survival struggles in a colonialist context. However, the different representative discourses they adapt indicate human-centered perspectives and/or gender attributions in ecocritical and ecofeminist reading. Hence, this thesis argues that ecocritical and ecofeminist approaches may partly demonstrate anthropocentric essentialism, which necessitates an alternative empathetic approach towards nature. As a reading technique, the textual analyses make a close reading of the human-non-human transformations vis-a-vis the suggested hypothetical term “naturamorphism.” This term is presented as a thought experiment, explained as a transformation and reversal of anthropomorphism. Thus the thesis explores the literary construction of otherization in the novels from a feminist ecocritical perspective to fill the potential deficiencies of ecofeminist criticism and ecocriticism. As a conceptual framework, Val Plumwood’s master-other hierarchy provides the basis for analyzing the human/nonhuman relationship in the novels. Besides, in the light of Kristeva’s theory of the semiotic chora and the abject, the thesis presents an alternative reading of the “context” nature as a “text.” Thus, with the premise that nature is neither a mother nor an other, the thesis suggests the concept of naturamorphism, and investigates its applicability in practice.


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Citation Formats
R. E. Özcan, “Neither a mother nor an other: nature’s literary emancipation in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.