• Silke Wadskjær Mølgaard
  • Magnus Møller Haugaard
4. semester, Engelsk, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis examines the developing narrative form and social function of dystopian climate fiction in the Anthropocene, in response to recent skepticism regarding dystopian literature’s continued usefulness in representing climate change. Through econarratological readings of Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower, Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140, and James Bradley’s Clade, the thesis considers three ecodystopian representations of environmental crisis, arguing for the utility of an intersecting genre terminology between the categories of critical dystopia and climate fiction in approaching the form and function of dystopian environmental representations. The thesis moreover argues for the usefulness of considering rhetorical tropes and modes’ influence on such representations, highlighting comic manifestations of apocalypse as particularly suitable for environmental communication. Through this broad theoretical approach, the thesis surveys The Parable of the Sower, New York 2140, and Clade, finding that they exhibit a tendency towards increasing narrative experimentation and hybridization in their representations of Anthropocene anxieties. They likewise suggest an expanded range of social functions, since the texts move beyond the traditional dystopian emphasis on producing cautionary tales by also serving as spaces for processing the uncertainty of the developing risk society and the vast spatio-temporal scales of climate change. The three novels moreover foreground human capability of agency, reconciliation, and adaptation through comic modes of apocalyptic rhetoric. The thesis thereby perceives dystopian climate fiction as a form that remains suited to representing environmental crisis, even if these fictions’ origin as cautionary tales will eventually be eclipsed by their function as spaces for processing the uncertainty of human existence in the increasingly dystopian Anthropocene.
Udgivelsesdato30 maj 2023
Antal sider124
ID: 532255203