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(UN)NATURAL BODIES, ENDANGERED SPECIES, AND EMBODIED OTHERS IN MARGARET ATWOOD'S ORYX AND CRAKE

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Date Issued:
2010
Abstract/Description:
The developing knowledge of life sciences is at the crux of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake as she examines human promise gone awry in a near-future dystopia. This thesis examines aspects of posthumanism, ecocriticism, and feminism in the novel's scientific, cultural, and environmental projections. Through the trope of extinction, Atwood's text foregrounds the effects of human exceptionalism and instrumentalism in relation to the natural world, and engenders an analysis of human identity through its biological and cultural aspects. Extinction thus serves as a metaphor for both human development and human excesses, redefining the idea of human within the context of vulnerable species. Oryx and Crake reveals humanity's organic connections with non-human others through interspecies gene-splicing and the ensuing hybridity. In this perspective, Atwood's text provides a dialogue on humankind's alienation from the natural world and synchronic connections to the animal other, and poses timely questions for twenty-first century consumerism, globalism, and humanist approaches to nature. The loss of balance provoked by the apocalyptic situation in Oryx and Crake challenges commonplace attitudes toward beneficial progress. This imbalance signals the need for a new narrative: A consilient reimagining of humanity's role on earth as an integrated organism rather than an intellectual singularity.
Title: (UN)NATURAL BODIES, ENDANGERED SPECIES, AND EMBODIED OTHERS IN MARGARET ATWOOD'S ORYX AND CRAKE.
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Name(s): Galbreath, Marcy, Author
Murphy, Patrick, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The developing knowledge of life sciences is at the crux of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake as she examines human promise gone awry in a near-future dystopia. This thesis examines aspects of posthumanism, ecocriticism, and feminism in the novel's scientific, cultural, and environmental projections. Through the trope of extinction, Atwood's text foregrounds the effects of human exceptionalism and instrumentalism in relation to the natural world, and engenders an analysis of human identity through its biological and cultural aspects. Extinction thus serves as a metaphor for both human development and human excesses, redefining the idea of human within the context of vulnerable species. Oryx and Crake reveals humanity's organic connections with non-human others through interspecies gene-splicing and the ensuing hybridity. In this perspective, Atwood's text provides a dialogue on humankind's alienation from the natural world and synchronic connections to the animal other, and poses timely questions for twenty-first century consumerism, globalism, and humanist approaches to nature. The loss of balance provoked by the apocalyptic situation in Oryx and Crake challenges commonplace attitudes toward beneficial progress. This imbalance signals the need for a new narrative: A consilient reimagining of humanity's role on earth as an integrated organism rather than an intellectual singularity.
Identifier: CFE0003227 (IID), ucf:48552 (fedora)
Note(s): 2010-08-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Oryx and Crake
Atwood
ecocriticism
humanism
posthumanist
feminist
extinction
genomic
hybridity
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003227
Restrictions on Access: campus 2013-07-01
Host Institution: UCF

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