No future: the realist impulse in dystopian fictions in Britain, 1973-1987 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Martinez, Robert Lee
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • In No Future: The Realist Impulse in Dystopian Fictions in Britain, 1973-1987, I argue that the genre of dystopian literature becomes fertile ground for British and Commonwealth writers, musicians, and filmmakers to articulate the cultural, economic, and social problems in Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. By examining a variety of literary, musical, and cinematic texts, this project shows that while British artists find the traditional, science fiction-oriented dystopian genre an attractive lens through which to view British society, the structure is ultimately too limiting to address the socio-economic problems plaguing the country. In response to this limitation, these writers begin to import aspects of realism and postmodern culture into the dystopian genre in order to challenge the meaning and traditional framework of the dystopia and to reflect the new harsh realities facing contemporary Britain. I demonstrate that as these writers examine the dystopian features of British society, they discover the inadequacy of traditional satire and irony to critique acts of social and sexual violence, and instead gradually turn to representations and theories of trauma and diaspora as a way to recover character agency and to attempt to instill in their audience a political consciousness. Ultimately, this dissertation suggests that these new dystopian fictions of realism represent new forms of open-ended critique that seek to move discussions of dystopia from literary genre to the arena of public intellectual debates and political activism.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of English and Comparative Literature."
  • Cooper, Pamela
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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