Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Randall Roorda

Abstract

The objective of this thesis is to explore the relationship between moralities and bioeconomies in post-apocalyptic dystopias from the Victorian era to contemporary Young Adult Fiction. In defining the terms bioeconomy and biopolitics, this works examines the ways in which literature uses food and energy systems to explore morality and immorality in social orders and systems, including capitalism and our modern techno-industrial landscapes. This work examines science fiction portrayals of apocalypses and dystopias, including After London: Or, Wild England and The Hunger Games, as well as their medieval and contextual influences. These works are analyzed in light of genre and contemporary influences, including the development of ecology and environmentalism. Ultimately, this thesis argues that authors are building a link between the types of behavior which are sustainable and morally acceptable and a person’s role in a bioeconomy; specifically, those who are moral in post-apocalyptic dystopias are providers of food and care, and do not seek to profit from aiding others. This work contends that the connection between morality and sustainable food and social systems are evidence of authorial belief that our current ways of life are damaging, and they must change in order to preserve our humanity and our world.

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