Literary visions of post-apocalyptic worlds in the works of Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood and Maggie Gee

Esboços - Revista do Programa de Pós-Graduação em História da UFSC

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Title Literary visions of post-apocalyptic worlds in the works of Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood and Maggie Gee
Literary visions of post-apocalyptic worlds in the works of Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood and Maggie Gee
 
Creator Bakay, Gönül
 
Subject Anthropocene
post-apocalypse
speculative science fiction
Anthropocene
Post-apocalypse
Speculative science fiction
 
Description Once hailed as the pinnacle of evolutionary progress, the human subject has more recently been under severe attack due to the destructive potential that has been unleashed by humans, especially in the last two hundred years. As a result, contemporary literature and art is replete with images of a utopia without humans. Many writers see humans, or rather human destructiveness, as the real plague on the planet and offer visions of utopia placed in the post-apocalyptic post-human era. Drawing on Patricia Vieira’s seminal article titled “Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of the Anthropocene”, I will first discuss how Mary Shelley portrayed ecological awareness in her The Last Man. I will then move on to examine how increasing ecological destruction leads to (post)-apocalyptic visions in the works of Margaret Atwood and Maggie Gee. My aim in juxtaposing two contemporary writers with Mary Shelley is to show that despite their different socio-historical contexts, these women writers have produced works that can not only be read as visionary and cautionary tales but that also promote heightened ecological awareness as an antidote to destructive and – ultimately – self-destructive tendencies of humankind.
Once hailed as the pinnacle of evolutionary progress, the human subject has more recently been under severe attack due to the destructive potential that has been unleashed by humans, especially in the last two hundred years. As a result, contemporary literature and art is replete with images of a utopia without humans. Many writers see humans, or rather human destructiveness, as the real plague on the planet and offer visions of utopia placed in the post-apocalyptic post-human era. Drawing on Patricia Vieira’s seminal article titled “Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of the Anthropocene”, I will first discuss how Mary Shelley portrayed ecological awareness in her The Last Man. I will then move on to examine how increasing ecological destruction leads to (post)-apocalyptic visions in the works of Margaret Atwood and Maggie Gee. My aim in juxtaposing two contemporary writers with Mary Shelley is to show that despite their different socio-historical contexts, these women writers have produced works that can not only be read as visionary and cautionary tales but that also promote heightened ecological awareness as an antidote to destructive and – ultimately – self-destructive tendencies of humankind.
 
Publisher Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
 
Date 2021-01-15
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://periodicos.ufsc.br/index.php/esbocos/article/view/73578
10.5007/2175-7976.2020.e73578
 
Source Esboços: histories in global contexts; Vol. 27 No. 46 (2020); 405-425
Esboços: histórias em contextos globais; v. 27 n. 46 (2020); 405-425
2175-7976
1414-722X
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://periodicos.ufsc.br/index.php/esbocos/article/view/73578/45298
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Gönul Bakay
 

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