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Rape in feminist utopian and dystopian fiction : Joanna Russ's "The Female Man", Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", and Octavia Butler's "The Parable of the Sower"and "The Parable of the Talents"

Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Author Diemer Llewellyn, Jana
ISBN/ISSN 9780542536847
Broad Subject European studies
History
Literature
Summary This thesis will explore rape as a product and enforcer of gender ideologies in social systems in feminist utopian and dystopian texts: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents, and Joanna Russ's The Female Man. It will delve into how the concept of utopia has changed in literature and why utopias and dystopias are appropriate places to investigate present socialsystems. It will argue that feminists use the genres of science fiction and speculative fiction to give important critical commentary on issues affecting democratic citizens, particularly women, in a postmodern world. Throughout these feminist texts and beyond, rape is an act that signifies a power structure where women are secondary. Rape and the threat of rape perpetuate the objectification of women, and each text explores new and significant attempts for female characters to gain subjectivity in oppressive systems. Most importantly, the thesis will claim that rape, as it is presented in postmodern feminist utopias and dystopias, serves as a systematic technique that intimidates women from achieving independence or freedom within the institutional structures of their societies.
Language English
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Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
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Format E-theses
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